Outline and Assess the Five Main Theoretical Perspectives of Sociology

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Outline and assess the five main theoretical perspectives of sociology

Marxism is the political philosophy and practice resulting from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Any political practice or theory that is based on an interpretation of the works of Marx and Engels may be called Marxism.

Under capitalism, the proletariat, the working class own only their capacity to work meaning they have the ability only to sell their own labour. According to Marx a class is defined by the relations of its members to the means of production. Under capitalism, the workers, in order to support their families are paid a minimum wage or salary. The worker is alienated because he has no control over the labour or product which he
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All Functionalism is concerned with the basic need and desirability for social order and stability to overcome in society.

Functionalists believe that you can compare society to a living organism, in that both a society and an organism are made up of mutually supporting working parts and systems that must function together in order for the body to function. An example of this can be found in the theory of Emergence. Functionalist sociologists say that the different parts of society e.g. the family, education, religion, law and order, media etc. have to be seen in terms of the contribution that they make to the functioning of the whole of society. This sees the different parts of society working together to form a social system in the same way that the different parts of an organism form a consistent functioning body.
Functionalist Talcott Parsons was influenced by Durkheim and Max Weber, combining much of their work into his theory. Parsons’ wanted to develop a grand theory of society, but he began by examining the individual and their actions. His starting point was the interaction between two individuals. Those individuals were faced with a variety of choices about how they might act. However, those choices are influenced and constrained by a number of physical and social factors. Parsons determined that each individual has expectations of the other’s action and reaction to their own behaviour, and that these expectations

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