Sociology Functionalism and Symbolic Interaction

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The key features, similarities and differences of Functionalism and Symbolic Interaction. Sociologists analyse social phenomena at different levels and from different perspectives. From concrete interpretations to sweeping generalizations of society and social behaviour, sociologists study everything from specific events, the micro level of analysis of small social patterns, to the big picture, the macro level of analysis of large social patterns. Sociologists today employ three primary theoretical perspectives: the symbolic interactions perspective, the functionalist perspective, and the conflict perspective. These perspectives offer sociologists theoretical paradigms for explaining how society influences people, and vice versa. Each…show more content…
Value consensus also suggests that people have shared goals, roles and norms. Norms can be described as specific guidelines of appropriate behaviour, for example queuing when buying things. ‘Social rules or norms reflect Durkheim’s social facts in that govern individual behaviour’ (Nisbet, 1976). Although these regulations are often coercive and include various forms of social controls like punishment, sanctions, social approval or social disapproval, they are also generally agreed by society. According to this theory this is because individuals realise that this is for their benefit and for the benefits of the whole society. Another example would be how in the UK society most people agree that clothes should be worn in public. Functionalism demonstrates how social structures direct human behaviour and how the major institutions, such as religion, economy and education work together to make a society stable and functioning. Symbolic interaction it is a micro perspective action theory. It focuses attention on the way people interact through symbols like words, gestures, rules and roles. According to this theory an understanding of human conduct requires study of covert behaviour as human being are active in shaping their behaviour; they are
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