The Structural Functional Theory, Social Conflict Theory

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A society is a group of people that live together in a common territory, interact with one another, and share the same culture. Within a society, there are many social structures that build and help society operate. Although, each society can be different when it comes to values, beliefs, norms, and mores, every society is built on a similar structure. Poverty is one of the many structures that are built within a society. Poverty is present in all societies across the world. It can be found from low-income countries to high-income countries. It is always present wherever society is. Using three main theories, which sociologists use to study a society on how it runs, we will explore each theory, its strengths and weaknesses, and each…show more content…
The point of a structural-functionalist is to avoid conflict at all costs; however, it does not help or fix social problems in a society. Another way the structural-functional theory may fail is that it does not look at the cause of social problems. What causes poverty? What makes people poor? Are the rich at fault? Questions like these go unanswered because the structural-functional theory is not open to change, it wants to leave things as is. In a structural functionalist point of view, society is stable and not doing any change or finding the causes of the root of social problems is perfectly fine. If they discover or change, all of the society will have to change with it, causing a rippling effect. When it comes to poverty, with these strengths and weaknesses of the structural-functional theory, poverty will remain and will not change in a society. Poverty is a social structure that works with the other structures that build up society. Without poverty, a society is unable to function properly. In the eyes of a structural functionalist, they do not see anything wrong with poverty, it is just part of what keeps a society moving. The social-conflict theory views society as an unequal society that generates conflict that eventually produces change (Macionis et al. 2017:43).
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