As stated in Giddens, sociologists who support this theory see individuals as not created by society but as the creators of society. Both the functional and conflict perspective, study society on a macro level. Unlike the micro study of society that looks to the individual, structural theory instead looks to society as a whole. Supporters of this theory view society as the creator of the individual, it is believed that the rules norms and values of society influence and govern the individuals. This essay will look at that two structural theories of functionalism and Marxists, it will compare and contrast both perspectives and identify similarities and differences in their views of on education family, as well as highlighting the strengths and a weaknesses in both perspectives.
Sociological Positivism vs. Social Constructionism Social phenomena exist and deserve explanation. Sociological Positivism and Social Constructionism are two differing social theories that seek to explain the cause of social phenomena. Although these theories are often in direct discourse, they are both highly accepted and are used frequently. Sociological Positivism was first theorized my Auguste Comte. It is described by Structural Anthropologist Edmund Leach as follows: "Positivism is the view that serious scientific inquiry should not search for ultimate causes deriving from some outside source but must confine itself to the study of relations existing between facts which are directly accessible to observation.
He argues that without social solidarity, social life would be impossible as everyone would pursue their own selfish desires and not work together to get what they want out of life. The education system helps to create this social solidarity by transmitting society's ideas from one generation to the next. For example, Durkheim argues that teaching of a countries history instil a sense of a shared heritage and commitment to the wider social group. However Marxists argue this social solidarity is just brainwashing students into thinking that everyone in society today is equal and that we are all part of society, while we are really just getting exploited by the bourgeoisie. People are just being led into a sense of false class consciousness and are being persuaded into thinking they have the same values of everyone else when they actually haven't.
So for me, Sociological imagination is a process of understanding and analysing the social problems and changing it for the benefit of a country. The societies that have lacked sociological imagination have experienced lagging behind what we think of as modern cultures. Industrialization, freedom, and equality are all things that the individuals in these societies lack or are just beginning to obtain. Those societies that have enough sociological imagination like in The United States of America, they are experiencing equal men and women rights, no slavery, and religious freedom. This is because they are embracing the sociological imagination and they have found the root of their problems.
Instead they try to understand social phenomena by testing existing theory against new theory. In 19th Century Comte began to theorise that the methods used in the natural sciences could also be applied to the research of social science and by doing this you could improve human existence in general. The application of scientific method to attempt to reveal social laws came to be known as ‘Positivism.’ Positivists not only assume that human behaviour can be objectively measured, but that objectivity is the only reliable method of sociological measurement. This objective approach becomes problematic as it is difficult to ignore your own values even when analysing impartial research data. In this sense it can be argued that the positivist approach is
For example the nature vs nurture debate. Talcott parsons (1902-79) were a key functionalist thinker. He saw society as a system made up of interrelated institutions (like the human body) He thought the main role of an institution was to socialise individuals so they behaved in acceptable ways. He argued that socialisation is the key to understanding patterns of human behaviour. Our behaviour is controlled by the rules of society into which we are born; the result is we don’t have to be told that what we are doing is socially unacceptable- we already know and feel uncomfortable if we don’t conform to social norms.
Karl Marx was a social theorist from the twentieth century, and he alleges that cause and effect are one of the most social actions that motivate us. He believed that research would help with the explanation of social phenomenon, and so could the non-empirical methods. He also believed that “society could be studied through the meaning and purpose that people attach to actions” (Vissing, 2011, p. 1.3). Karl Marx, in 1818-1883, developed the conflict theory and “argued that it is tension and conflict that motivate us to think and act differently” (Vissing, 2011, p. 1.3). Karl Marx.
The Promise C. WRIGHT MILLS People are often quick to blame others for their misfortunes. However, C. Wright Mills argues that the only way to truly understand people’s behavior is to examine the social context in which the behavior occurs. In other words, Mills believes that we need a quality of mind that he calls the sociological imagination. By using sociological imagination, we learn how social, historical, cultural, economic, and political factors influence the choices that people make and the ways in which they live their lives. As you read this article, think about how the larger social context has shaped your own choices over the course of your life.
Introduction The Sociological Imagination written by C. Wright Mills wherein his main goal was to try to reconcile and differentiate between the two intangible concepts of societal actuality which is basically the "individual" and the "society." In simpler words, Mills tries to distinguish between personal troubles and issues that arise in society. In this essay, what exactly is sociological imagination as well as various aspects which occur in individual and societal lives will be addressed. The aspects that will be discussed herein are namely, unemployment, crime, suicide, and child abuse in the light of Mills’ observations. The way these issues are interlinked with each other will also be addressed respectively.
In other words, they help us to relate the larger social picture to our own personal lives. A Theory is a set of interrelated concepts that are used to define, explain, and predict how society and its parts are connected to each other. They are concepts and ideas that have been scientifically tested and combined to magnify, enlarge, clarify, and expand the understanding of people, their behaviors, and their societies (Hammond, 2008). Two Main Sociological Theories Theories vary in scope depending on the scale of the issues they are meant to explain. Grand theories, more formally called “Macro-level”, attempt to explain large-scale relationships and answer fundamental questions such as what forms societies and why does societies change.