Social Conflict Theories and Functionalism There are three main theories of sociology; functionalism, conflict theory and symbolic interactionism. This paper will focus on two of those theories, functionalism and conflict theory. The objective is to delineate the assumptions of two out of the three theoretical perspectives and apply these assumptions to an analysis of social stratification. How this will be accomplished will be by comparing and contrasting their assumptions and by analyzing the two theories affect on social stratification. Then I will state my opinion on which of the two better fits my personal sociological views. Functionalism is many people's way to view the world sociologically. It states clearly that the …show more content…
Whichever groups have the power is a central concern of this theory. These Marxist statements are the central arguments of all conflict theorist's statements of truth. The second part of the conflict theorists assumptions is that the different parts of the social system as a whole are intertwined, not because of a shared value system, however, but because of the fact that one group is inherently dominant over the other. This dominance happens because one group, the dominant group, controls the resources. The third part of the assumptions of the conflict theorist is that society does not necessarily have needs, but individuals and groups do. Because the dominant group has the access to wealth, power and prestige, they have the ability to have their needs defined as "system needs." The fourth part of the conflict theorist's assumptions is the basic question of "Who benefits?" from the social arrangements of the day. On any issue in society, there are people who benefit and people who don't benefit. This conflict always gives the advantage to the stronger party. The fifth part of the conflict theorists system of assumptions is the conflict itself, which lends tension, hostility, competitions, disagreement over goals, and values, as well as violence. Not always are these issues negative, however. They can act as an adhesive to help join groups together in the pursuit of a positive goal. The sixth and final part of the
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
“Some Principles of Stratification” by Kingsley Davis and Wilbert E. Moore is a great instance of the structural functionalist theory. In the article, it views stratification through the lens of a functionalist and states that stratification doesn’t necessarily lead to conflict, rather we need it in order for society to function. Furthermore, it illustrates the functions of stratification,
In the United States and in several other countries around the world, many people recognize Wal-Mart for being a great place to shop for any and every household item on the market. However, sociologist find Wal-Mart to be a bit more than just a one-stop shop for everyday items. Sociologist use different perspectives to view society and its functions to evaluate the “why’s” and “what’s” within a society. The two main perspectives or theories used by sociologists to analyze society are macrosociology and microsociology, but more specifically: Functionalism, Conflict Theory, and Symbolic Interactionism.
This response addresses question four and define the provided theories, which include structural functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism. In doing so, various components of the theories are identified in relation to the topic of social change. In doing so, it is important to point out that in sociology, theories are used to explain the patterns, the way groups of people decide to perform specific actions, and the way societies do certain things or rather experience a change in a different manner. On the other hand, social change implies the growth and development of a social order, which bears some significant consequences.
There are roughly 800,000 people living within the United States that is under the protection of an executive order during the Obama administration called Deferred Action Against Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. These children, commonly referred to as “Dreamers,” have grown up in the United States. They attended elementary school here, many graduated high school here, and many went on to become successful adults living in the United States, but as of September 5th, 2017 the DACA program was shut down by the Trump administration, pending a trial in Congress. This means that those hundreds of thousands of individuals living under the DACA arm will no longer be legal residents in the United States.
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
Social conflict theory is a Marxist-based social theory which argues that individuals and groups (social classes) within society have differing amounts of material and non-material resources (the wealthy vs. the poor) and that the more powerful groups use their power in order to exploit groups with less power.
1.Compare and contrast the conflict and the functionalist perspective relative to the political system in the United States. Select one current issue such as healthcare, immigration, or one of your choosing and discuss the issue from both perspectives.
Arguing that exploitation lies at the core of most social relationships, Conflict Theory proposes that the rules by which society are governed are dictated by powerful actors, and that these serve to ultimately preserve the positions of those groups that hold power. This paradigm argues that the nature of society is inherently conflictual, and that social change only emerges when powerful actors are dislodged through mass-level collective action that is itself difficult to
Conflict Theory vs. Structural Functionalism, this is like a fight between conservative and liberal. Structural Functionalism is a sociological theory that focuses on the structures of society and their functional significance (positive and negative consequences) for other structures (Ritzer, 2013). In another word, Structural Functionalism focuses on hierarchy, high position in the society. The theory is based on the belief that a person who held a high position like doctor or lawyer should get pay more because they make a lot of contribution to society. While on the other side, Conflict Theory “explains social structure and changes in it by arguing that actors pursue their interests in conflict with others and according to their resources for social organization” (COLLINS 414) it goes against with pretty much what Structural Functionalism stand for. With Conflict Theory, people in the society should be paid for how much they contributed, it stands for fairness. Conflict theory examines how society is stratified along class, race and ethnicity, gender, and age categories, and how these categories are linked to the unequal distribution of resources. Patterns of social interaction are inherent with benefits for some and deprivations for others. The goal for conflict theory is to understand the conflict between the advantaged and the disadvantaged while also taking action to reduce inequality (Sociology 662). One of the example the shows the conflict between Conflict Theory
Conflict theory was formed by Karl Marx which spoke on how conflict theory works for those with wealth and power try to hold on to it by any means possible, chiefly by suppressing the poor and powerless.
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.
Through a functional and conflict theory lens I will be looking at how human activity and social forces have brought me to this moment. Before I dig into specific interactions, first the question that am I must be answered? I am a twenty year old, white male who was born and raised in Brooklyn and I came from an upper middle class family. I have had the privilege to be sent to catholic school for most of my life, and received everything I have ever asked for, except a Lamborghini. The main agents that have socialized me have been my family, my teachers, my friends, social media, television, and my faith.
Explain the three major sociological perspectives of functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism. Identify which perspectives use a macrolevel or a microlevel of analysis. Apply each perspective to socialization.
Conflict theory is the theory that human behavior in social contexts is the result of conflicts between competing groups, as different social groups, be they class-, gender- or race-defined, have unequal power and access to power, yet all groups compete for limited resources. This inevitably gives rise to tension and conflict, albeit often of the subtle variety, as oftentimes the conflicts between groups have been institutionalized in society to such a degree that the conflicts and tensions are such an expected part of society that the conflict, and inequality, itself disappears from public sight, and consciousness. For example, an adherent of a world systems theory of conflict would point to the global competition for resources, particularly the inequality between rich and poor nations struggling to provide the basic necessities of life to their inhabitants, as evidence of global conflict. Conflict theories seek to explain the interactions of groups within society, and assert that social order is preserved involuntarily through the exercise of power one social class holds over another (Lindsey, 2010, 7). The conflict between groups is not always obvious or apparent, so it must be unraveled and examined in order to identify and establish the impact of such conflict on society as a whole, as well as individual members and social groupings.
Theories in sociology provide us with different perspectives with which to view our social world. A perspective is simply a way of looking at the world. A theory is a set of interrelated propositions or principles designed to answer a question or explain a particular phenomenon; it provides us with a perspective. Sociological theories help us to explain and predict the social world in which we live.