Critical Theory, Functionalism And Symbolic Interactionism Essay

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In sociology, there are three major theories; critical theory, functionalism and symbolic interactionism. These theories express the structure of society in which each theory looks at a different aspects of sociology. Sociologists apply these theories in the study of society, but it becomes difficult if only one theory is applied. For that one applied theory, would only look at the aspect to which it is confined to. To successfully study sociology all three theories must be applied together.
Critical theory was founded by the German philosopher Karl Marx (Little, 2016, p. 12). It was originally known as historical materialism which is “a critical analysis of capitalism that saw the material or economic basis of inequality and power relations as the cause of social instability and conflict” (Little, 2016, p. 12). Critical sociology can be defined as the “inequality and power relations in society in order to achieve social justice and emancipation through their transformations” (Little, 2016, p. 45). Novack describes critical theory as, “Marx’s sociology is essentially, the sociology of conflict and class” (Novack, 1982, p. 51-52). This was because some of Marx’s views were based on freeing the people from the capitalist structure, which to him were oppressing the lower-class citizens (Little, 2016, p. 14). As it is the aim of critical sociology to look at the power constraining class system, it also creates room for the scientific, “In this way the goal of sociology would
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