Structural-Conflict Theory: Similarities And Differences Of Social Poverty

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There are many different sociological theories that explain the way society works and how social problems are caused. Four main sociological theories describing social problems are the structural-functional theory, the symbolic-interaction theory, the feminist theory, and the social-conflict theory. All of these different theories have both similarities and differences in explaining the way society functions. The structural-functional theory was very common throughout history and still is today. This theory states that society functions through all of the different parts of society working together. There are certain theories within the structural functional theory that help explain how it works. The social pathology theory states that social…show more content…
Through the social pathology theory of the structural-functional approach, poverty is considered a social problem by stating that those who are in poverty are poor because of bad life choices they have made for themselves. They believe that those in poverty do not try hard enough to be successful, and therefore cannot be a functional part of society. They believe that social problems arise because not all members of a society are doing their part to make society work. Through the symbolic-interaction theory, one way poverty is caused is because children who grow up in a family that is poor, will likely have a hard time getting out of poverty themselves. They will learn and pick up attitudes from their family members and those around them, which will continue as they get older. If their mother and father both didn’t have the opportunity for a good education or a job, that child will likely not value education or a well-paid job either. Social problems can be caused from learning behaviors and attitudes from interactions with others. The feminist theory explains the problem of poverty because of the inequality between men and women. Women are less likely than men to get successful jobs, and if they do they are still paid a significant amount less. Women don’t have the same opportunities men have to make a successful life for themselves, and are more likely to be single moms taking care of their children, than single fathers. This can lead to poverty because women don’t make enough to be able to support themselves and their families “In recent decades, an increasing share of the poor is made up of women (especially single women) and their children” (Macionis 2018: 1.3). The social-conflict theory describes poverty as a result of inequality between different social classes. Most times people in our society see those in poverty and believe they did it to
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