The social action approach, argues that individuals experience the social world by interpreting their actions and interactions with others and the meaning they assign to social phenomena. The starting point for understanding society should be the individual as they are authors of their own ideas. Emphasis should be given to how shared meanings develop and how these influence the way individuals define, act and react to their environment. Opposing the social action approach are the structural theories. Structural theories such as functionalism and Marxism are macro (large scale), and deterministic: they see society as a real thing existing over and above us, shaping our ideas and behaviour – individuals are like puppets, manipulated by society.
It was developed by other sociologists in the 20th century and was a popular idea until the 1970s when it came under criticism from new ideas. Functionalism is most often associated with sociology and sociocultural anthropology. Functionalism focuses on the structure and workings of society. Functionalists see society as made up of inter-dependent sections which work together to fulfill the functions necessary for the survival of society as a whole. People are socialized into roles and behaviours which fulfill the needs of society.
Marx argues that the ideologies in the superstructure cover up the inequalities of society; he argues that these ideologies justify inequality because they are not neutral and therefore they serve the interests of the ruling class. Marx argues that the education system is like the workforce as it teaches us to be docile workers and accept that inequality is inevitable. Bowles and Gintis support Marx’s traditional view of the link between education and the nature of work in Capitalist societies. They argue that the education system integrate people into various aspects of the capitalist production process. The organisation of the education system mirrors the work force in many ways such as disciplining students to the demands of work- something they call ‘the crucial ingredient of job adequacy’.
Compare and Contrast: The Three Theoretical Concepts Sociology 101-Online December 4, 2011 Abstract There are many subjects to be studied and discussed in the field of Sociology. The individualized approach chosen to study a particular subject is called a perspective. A perspective is simply a way of looking at the world. Theories in sociology provide us with different perspectives with which to view our social world. A theory is a set of interrelated propositions or principles designed to answer a question or explain a particular phenomenon; it provides us with a perspective.
Social policy is government principles and legislation designed to deal with social problems like crime and poverty. However opinions from sociologists all vary on this matter because some believe that their research should feed into policy; whereas others are in the opinion that sociologists must find out what is happening, why it is happening and what can be done to solve the problem. There are many things that influence sociology on policy for example globalisation and policy preferences of the government at the time. This essay is going to examine the relationship between sociology and social policy. Positivists and functionalists such as Durkheim and Comte view sociology as a science and they argue that sociology can discover all the social problems.
Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the functionalist approach to society. Functionalism is a macro, structuralist theory. This means they see human behaviour being shaped as an influence of social forces. It is also seen consensus theory, as functionalists’ argue that, individuals are socialised into a shared value to ensure conformity and social order. However, this functionalists approach is criticised by action theorists, as they argue that individuals create society through their interactions.
Rachel Jackman Professor Andrea Connor Sociology Portfolio Assignment 7 November 2012 Primary Theoretical Perspectives of Sociology Sociology is defined as the scientific study of society and human behavior (Henslin, pg. 10). Sociologists give us a theoretical look into how society and human behavior is affected by life and how it differs all over the Earth from culture to culture. Sociology applies scientific principle to help us explain the phenomena of the human society and its differences in social interaction and behavior. People can be seen socially in distinct points of view with a wide variety of speculated ideas through the use of Sociology’s theoretical perspectives.
As societal patterns change and influence everyone and everything around them, they may not affect many as badly as they affect others. We therefore need the ability to see things through other people’s perspectives, to understand their point of view and how society affects it. This is done by using ones “Sociological Imagination” otherwise known as your sociological perspective. It enables us to see life through the eyes of others and understand where they are coming from. C. Wright Mills wrote that the task of sociology is to understand the relationship between an individual and the society they live in.
Assess the relationship between sociology and social policy (33 marks) Social policy is generally thought of as tackling ‘social problems’, especially the welfare of the population. In order to understand this relationship, sociologists distinguish between social problems and sociological problems. According to Worsley, a social problem is some piece of social behaviour that causes public friction and/or private misery and calls for collective action to solve it. For example, poverty, educational under-achievement, juvenile delinquency and divorce may all be seen as social problems by members of society, and governments may be called upon to produce policies to tackle them. Worsley also said that a sociological problem id and pattern of relationships that calls for explanation.
He believed that someone’s behaviour was shaped by society but he also believed that someone’s social class defined the person within it. It is a method of social analysis that focuses on class relations and societal conflict. Karl Marx also believed that the economic system defined different parts of society and peoples self-worth. Karl Marx believed there were two social classes Bourgeoisie/Capitalists- This social class is