Functionalist Theory Essay

1549 Words7 Pages
This essay will examine two sociological theories: interactionism and functionalism. Firstly, the key concept of Interactionism and functionalism will be defined discussed, analysed and followed by comparisons and contrasts between the two of them. Then, there will be a short discussion to explain how these two theories are related in their contribution to the knowledge of health practitioners. Interactionism in sociology is a theoretical perspective; it is focus on aspects of social life is subjective rather than objective and is based on human’s interactions rather than societies interactions with humans. Instead of looking at social systems at a larger-scale, such as the entire population of a country or third world countries, interactionism focuses on smaller-scale social interactions, such as the interactions between individuals or small social groups (Interactionism in Sociology: Definition, Examples & Quiz). Interactionism focuses on the way that we act, or make conscious choices regarding our behaviour that proceed from how we interpret situations (Germov, 2009). In other words, it is how people gives meaning, interpret and construct behaviours through interactions with others and how these interactions affect the same people in the society. “Functionalism is one of the major theoretical perspectives in sociology. It interprets each part of society in terms of how it contributes to the stability of the whole society” (Crossman, A, 2011). Functionalism focuses on the maintenance of stability and order within a society, viewing society as a system of integrated parts, with needs that must be fulfilled so that social order is maintained (Germov, 2009).It recognizes but does not challenge inequalities within society. The perspective of functionalism is one of social order, structure and conformity. A key concept of symbolic interactionism is the “self
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