Structural, Conflict, And Interactionists Perspectives

987 Words Oct 10th, 2015 4 Pages
A. Three of the most widely used theoretical approaches used by sociologists are the functionalist, conflict, and interactionists perspectives. Functionalists highlight the contributions made by society that lead to social stability. Talcott Parsons, a key figure in the development of functionalist theory, viewed society as of a vast network of connected parts, each of which helps to maintain the system as a whole (Schaefer 2015). Conflict theorists take the approach that social behavior is understood in terms of tension between competing groups over power or the allocation of resources. Interactionist explain society by generalizing about the everyday forms of social interaction in places such as work, parks, or in public places. Functionalist and conflict approaches to the study of society focus on large scale phenomena or entire civilizations, or macrosociology, while the interactionist approach focuses on microsociology which stresses the study of small groups (Schaefer 2015). Functionalists reason that individuals are socialized to perform certain societal functions. However, conflict theorists consider that individuals are socialized by power of authoritative groups. In the interactionist view, individuals are shaped by their everyday interaction within small groups. Social order is maintained through cooperation and overall consensus in the functionalist’s perspective; laws are created to reinforce social order. Similarly, interactionists believe social order is…
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