Compare and Contrast Two Sociological theories

1913 Words Jan 25th, 2014 8 Pages
Compare and Contrast and Two Sociological Theories

This essay will compare and contrast and contrast two leading sociological theories: Marxism and Functionalism. Marxists predominantly believe that within society inequality and prejudice are rife, whereas Functionalists live under the impression that society operates in a state of social equilibrium wherein class and social status are necessities which we allow to transpire. This essay will explore the different viewpoints each theories take on subjects such as religion, community, family and education.

Marxism is a conflict theory founded by German Philosopher and Sociologist Karl Marx in the 19th Century. It brings forth the idea that society is imbalanced and biased.
…show more content…
Both Sociological theories take very different viewpoints on most general societal subjects such as family for instance. At its most basic platform Marxists see the stereotypical nuclear family as a tool for the ruling class. Early on Marx realized the ability to pass down property through generations was a brilliantly useful mechanism for controlling wealth and capital. Marxists see the family as a potential assembly line of workers: the head of the household being the proprietor and ‘CEO’ whilst the children are being prepared to receive their inheritance and maintain their family’s wealth and capital status. Functionalists, however, take a much more harmonious approach. They believe:
‘The family performs important tasks that contribute to society’s basic needs and helps perpetuate social order.’ (Anthony Giddens 2006 - Page 238) Functionalists believe a family’s paramount purpose is to raise and support their children within society. ‘According to the American sociologist Talcott Parsons, the family’s two main functions are primary socialization and personality stabilization. Primary socialization is the process by which children lean the cultural norms of the society into which they are born. Because this happens during the early years of childhood, the family is the most important arena for the development of the human personality. Personality stabilization refers to
Open Document