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Functionalist, Conflict, Interactionist Theoretical Approches

  • Date Submitted: 08/30/2010 08:02 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 31.5 
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Sociologists explore social occurrences at different levels and from different standpoints, studying everything from micro to macro levels of social patterns. Their views outline the basis for their sociological perspective, which are the different theoretical constructs that sociologists have created for examining the social world we live in. It provides sociologists with a philosophical position. The three views most commonly used by sociologists today are: the functionalist, conflict and symbolic interactionist perspectives.
      The functionalist perspective (functionalism) emphasizes the way in which the parts of a society are structured to maintain its stability. It is a macrosociology in which each part of the society contributes to make the whole in order for its survival. Talcott Parsons, a key contributor to the development of this theory, saw society as a vast network of interconnected parts. Its view of society is as a stable and well-integrated system and of the individual is that of people are socialized to perform societal functions. Social order is maintained through cooperation and consensus. And social change is seen as predictable and reinforcing, but change also being dysfunctional. Analyzes of colleges in the US can be seen through the functionalist perspective in that the structure of the educational system functions to reinforce the common values of a society. College educates young adults so that they can be beneficial contributors to society.   One of its open-stated conscious purposes (Manifest function) is to certify academic competence and excellence. While one of its unintended functions or hidden purposes (Latent functions) is to facilitate in mate selection.
      Conflict perspective focuses on social power and inequality. It’s a macrosociology that assumes that social behavior is best understood in conditions of tension between groups over power or the allocation of resources, such as in housing, money, access to services, and...


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