A Comparison Of Structural Functionalism And Conflict Theory

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A comparison of the two prominent macro sociological theories, Structural Functionalism and Conflict Theory; shows some similarities and other strong opposing and contrasting concepts. Many of the beliefs of the Conflict Theory were born in reaction and disagreement to the long standing ideas of Structural Functionalism, which held the leading view among sociologists at the time. Unlike Functionalism, Conflict Theory is not developed on the concept that society is created and produced from dependency on other institutions working together; but rather that conflict creates society through the competition for resources. Functional Sociologist, Tallcott Parsons, specifically emphasized the importance of social order. According to conflict theorists, functionalism was incomplete in explaining occurrences in society like poverty in America. While Functionalism stressed cooperation; Conflict theory stressed competition as the primary basis on which social analysis is built. An example of similar beliefs of structure, but contrasting views by theories of their purpose and role, would be an institution of religion. Conflict Theory viewed religion as a negative institution of society and saw it as a mechanism for dumbing down the general labors, controlling them and pacifying them in their exploited state of existence. In a world viewed of inequality, religion was used primarily as a form of control. Meanwhile in Functionalism, the view of religion was that it was a

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