Sociology : Teenage Wasteland : Suburbia 's Dead End Kids

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Sociology can be seen through three perspectives: functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism. The three perspectives are similar; they all describe how society works. However, each perspective mentions a different mechanism of society evolves. An excerpt from the book Teenage Wasteland: Suburbia’s Dead-End Kids, written by Donna Gaines, and an article from the Sociological Inquiry called “Working at Bazooms: The Intersection of Power, Gender, and Sexuality”, written by Meika Loe, can be read with each perspective applied. Functionalism, as described by Chris Hunter and Kent McClelland in “Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology” of Mapping the Social Landscape: Readings in Sociology, edited by Susan A. Ferguson, is the “analogy between society and an organism” (p. 34). Like an organism, a society must aim for survival; each part of society is like a part of an organism: if one part fails to function properly, the entire entity will perish. In Gaines’ excerpt, the suicidal teenagers are seen as the part of society that is not functioning as it should. A normal teenager would do what the society of Bergenfield, New Jersey expects them to do, such as going to school to get an education and contributing to society in the future. However, since the teenagers are committing suicide, they cannot contribute to and create said future and will ultimately lead to a failing social system. In the article by Loe, the organism is Bazooms the restaurant. The girls who work

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