Compare and Contrast Any Two Sociologocal Theories

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This essay will compare and contrast both the Marxism theory and the Functionalism theory of topics in society. The topics of society this essay will discuss are: Families, Education, Employment and Religion. This essay will look at evidence supporting these theories and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses. In Sociology there are many theories on different society based topics. A sociological theory is the same as a sociological perspective; it is a way that sociologists look at something. “A sociological theory is a set of ideas that provide an explanation for human society” Haralombus, M & Holborn, M 2008 page 855. The Marxism theory is known as a conflict theory, Marxism was founded by Karl Marx, (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels, (1820-1895). “Marxism revolves around class conflict centred on the forces of production requiring social relationships to function. These combine to form the infrastructure and the superstructure i.e. education, politics, norms and values all support the dominant system determined by economic factors” Haralambos, M & Holborn, M (2000) Marxism believed that there was class conflict between the bourgeoisies (upper class/owners of land, factories etc) and the Proletariat (the working class/middle class). The Marxism theory was also a macro sociological theory as it views society in the ‘bigger picture’. The functionalist theory is different in the way that it is a consensus theory; this means that everything in society functions as individual parts that as a whole create society. Functionalists look at society like the human body; both human parts and parts of society have certain needs that need to be met if they are to survive. Functionalism is similar to Marxism in the way that it too is a macro sociological theory; functionalism also looks at society in the ‘bigger picture’. Families are a group of individuals related by
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