To begin with, structural functionalism looks at the society as a bundle of a complex system with different parts that work to support the whole. It stipulates that a society is a combination of interrelated components, which work independently, but seek to achieve a common goal, which supports the growth of the whole system. Some of the systems in the society include the government, schools, businesses, and families. In essence, all these different components are fundamental in the society as they serve different functions to develop the society. On the other hand, social conflict theory looks at the society as a system with equal components, but within the endeavors to grow to find themselves in conflicting paths. Thinking about the society, some of the trends lead to conflict among the people living together. For example, ageism,
The second sociological perspective is functionalism and it just like conflict has a macro view on issues. When thinking about functionalism break the word up and it will help to give you a clear definition. Each part of the problem with function individually and then they will work together to cooperate. Functionalism like conflict has three questions that need to be answered. “ What parts of society are involved? What functions do the parts play? How are they related to one another/ or how do they impact one another” (Halperin, 2/13/15). If these questions can't be answered then it doesn't fall under the perspective of functionalism.
Conflict Theory was "influenced by Karl Marx's socioeconomic view of the elite exploiting the masses." (Parillo 12). The conflict perspective focuses on the inequalities that create racial and ethnic tensions between groups. In contrast to the fundamentalist's emphasis on stability, conflict theorists maintain, "Racism has much to do with maintaining power and controlling resources." Society is seen as being continually involved in struggles and disagreements as diverse groups struggle over limited resources. The system is hierarchical and characterized by social inequality. Conflict theorists argue that the rich and powerful force social order on the poor and weak and that existing social patterns benefit some people while depriving others. "Conflict theorists
A sociological imagination is the idea of how a personal experience can affect society as a whole. At some point a personal issue becomes a public issue. Conflict theory is the idea of competition over limited resources such as money. The theory is about domination and power rather than peace and cooperation. Those with power and wealth try to maintain that position by suppressing those without. The United States poverty is most easily explained by the conflict theory because in the US, the wealthy stay wealthy and the poor stay poor due to suppression.
Race and ethnicity are the occasionally have been used interchangeably. Race is described as a person’s physical appearance such as skin color, eye color, hair and many other biological traits and characteristics. Race mainly refers to the differences in skin color in the contemporary world. When we say that person is fair skinned or is black we are referring to the race of that person. Ethnicity is the cultural aspect of a an individual or a group such as the nationality of the person, the language they use to communicate, their descendants , the particular region they inhabit for example American, African, African Americans, etc. In a nutshell race is an overview of how you look and ethnicity is the social and cultural aspect of grouping you are born into.
In functionalism theory, race serves an order to conform to society. Since the beginning of time discrimination from the dominated race towards has affected minorities. Dominate group believes that minorities must be assimilated into their society. A great example would be slavery, the whites dominated and controlled and owned slaves, to improve the daily lives of whites for profit, and other
In the world of sociology there are many different ways that humans interact with the world. Although we are all human beings, we do not always see the world the same way that others do. Even though not many are aware of the different ways they can see the world, there are three sociological perspectives. Using structural functionalism, the conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism one will be able to decide which view best represents the way they see this world. When asked about my perspective on the world, I view it using the conflict theory due to the examples that society gives us based on events that happen frequently. Even though all three of these theories are socially correct, the conflict theory defines my view of the world more than structural functionalism and symbolic interaction.
The functionalist perspective looks for the benefits to society that things offer and for institutionalized racisms and criminalization of blacks the benefits fall on the majority whites maintaining power while the private prisons get to profit. The conflict theory focuses more on the back and forth between those in power and those who are not and their struggle for equality, for example when African Americans began to gain power at the end of slavery the ruling class whites quickly put laws in place to criminalize them and further hold them back. The interactionist approach to this issue would be to look both at how whites view blacks as criminals and how African American's then perceive laws, the criminal justice system, and even
Structural functionalism views society as a living organism. An easy way of explain it would be a human body consist of several systems, the circulatory, endocrine, muscle, and bones. The human body is composed of all of these system to be able to sustain life. The systems/structures work together in society for the greater good and benefit one and other. While the conflict perspective views society as different groups competing with each other for power and resources, similar to a food chain and survival of the fittest.
There are three different theoretical perspectives. Functionalist perspective, which emphasizes the way in which the parts of a society are structured to maintain its stability. Functionalists see the contribution that it makes to society. The conflict perspective, assumes that social behavior is best understood in terms of tension between groups over power or the allocation of resources, and political representation. The interactionalist perspective, which generalize about everyday forms of social interaction in order to explain society as a whole (Schaefer).
Social conflict also focuses on macro-sociology. Symbolic interaction paradigm says society functions well through interactions. Communication is spreaded through symbols created by society. Social interaction is important, because it causes social change. Many variables such as behavior events are explained through social contact with others. The people are the ones who determine what is reality, and what is not reality. Life works in a dramatization point of view. Symbolic interaction paradigm focuses on the small issues that affect communities in society, therefore making it a micro-level orientation. Functionalist paradigm sees society as a well integrated, self-regulating system that meets people’s needs. While Social conflict views society having many groups that are self reliant, with their own goals and needs. Symbolic interaction explains society is shaped, and constructed through interaction, and communication with others.
Theories are meant to explain an unknown phenomena. Scientific laws are statements or equations that accurately describes a recurring process. Grand theories explain large-scale relationships why societies form and change. Micro-level theories explain small-scale relationships between individuals or small groups. There are three main theoretical perspectives in sociology, which are functionalism, conflict theory, and interactionism. They all attempt to explain how society functions through ideals that have formulated to be true. And, for each perspective, the ideas are different and conflicting, but they attempt to explain society. Functionalists see society as an integrated system of cogs that are all relevant to the constant progression of society. If an outside social force effects one, it will halt all the other parts. Functionalism encourages stability, and dysfunction cause instability. There are two types of social functions; manifest and latent. Manifest function is the intended or anticipated effects that a part has on the existing social order. Latent function is the unintended or unanticipated effects that a part has on the existing social order. Conflict theory tries to explain society through instability. A conflict theorist looks at
Sociological theory creates ways to understand the social world by having different theories to explain understand social life. It aids to make sense of this social world. It draws together a wide range of perspectives to help provide the fullest picture. (Macionis & Plummer p.36) It shows that one theory can explain something that another cannot. My aim is to answer this question with reference to both functionalism and conflict theory. This will be done by comparing and contrasting both theories in relation to their perspectives on both suicide and gender discrimination as social issues relevant to this day and age. Functionalism and conflict perspectives are both macro theories. This means that they focus on the big picture, for
The difference between functional and dysfunctional conflict is that functional serves a purpose in the organization such as the interest and dysfunctional serves no purpose but to threaten the organization ((Kinicki A. Kreitner R.2008 p. 277).