Essay on Society's Benefits to Certain Groups

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Society's Benefits to Certain Groups


Various approaches in sociology stress the authority of society over the individual. They are sometimes called social systems or structuralist approaches.

From this perspective, the individual is largely managed by society. Society has made us into what we are because of the expectations and pressures of the social groups we belong to. Society formulates everyone, enduring our thoughts and directing our actions. We are socialised in terms of the culture of society, our behaviour is shaped by the social structure, we are kept in line by means of social control, and we discover roles, norms and values and act accordingly consequently.
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Relatively it means that there are basic conflicts of interest in society with some groups gaining at the expense of others.


Functionalism sees society as a social system based on consensus. It begins from the assumption that society has certain basic needs which must be met if it is to survive. First and foremast is the need for social order-for a smooth-running, well-ordered society in which social life is predictable and people know what is expected from them.

Social order requires a certain degree of cooperation and social solidarity. This is made possible by shared norms and values. This in turn requires some means of socialisation to ensure that norms and values are learned, plus mechanisms of social control to ensure that norms and values are conformed to. In particular, value consensus is seen as essential since without it people would be pulling in different directions and the result would be conflict and disorder.

Consensus from a consensus perspective, successful business people deserve high rewards. They have made important contributions to society by building up efficient and productive companies and providing employment. High rewards motivate them and everybody benefits from their success.

Conflict from a conflict perspective, the wealth and lavish lifestyles of the rich and powerful are paid for by exploiting
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