Sociology and the Family SOC101: Introduction to Sociology (GSP1114A) Instructor: Abstract Sociology is an area of study based on reality. Its observations and applications are founded in reality, and its theories have been derived out of various experiences of reality and now affect common perception of the same reality. The three main theories of sociology are the theories of Functionalism, Conflict Theory, and Interactionism. They give credibility to a different understanding of and toward the different sociological institutions that are in place. By understanding the concepts of the each theories a person can see how they can affect the social institution, such as the family, differently and can present a more much better understanding of the concepts as they apply to reality.
Sociology is a social science that seeks to understand complexities of human society. Sociological theories are ideas that seek to explain how society works. There is a wide range of sociological theories in terms of their priorities, perspectives and the data that exist or encompass the endless ways of viewing reality. In order to determine the nature of man, to be outside the knowledge of his experience, ambition, qualifications of values refer to the community in which he grew up and is shaped. The impact on the personality of the individual, it has the characteristics of participation in the life of the community.
Sociologists do not simply declare their beliefs indisputable truths – they do research to determine whether those beliefs are correct. Their investigations are rooted in the scientific method that distinguishes the sociological perspective from “commonsense” interpretations of the world. The sociological perspective emphasizes that people’s thoughts and action are strongly influenced by the groups to which they belong as well as by impinging social factors such as beliefs, values, practices and institutions. From birth to death individuals are imbedded within and influenced by groups and larger structures. As sociologists our main goal is to understand social situations and look for repeating patterns in society.
Functioning is all a part of life but, can it work in a sociologist standpoint? According to the You May Ask Yourself by Dalton Conley its possible. Throughout Colney’s works in chapter one he explains three major theories. Including the Functionalist theory, conflict theory, and Symbolic Interaction. In the position as a student of sociology, I believe the Functionalist theory best describes society.
Berger and Luckmann (1967:15-22) argue that social relativity is inherent in reality and knowledge, hence, its collection is defined by social contexts imperative for sociological analysis. They contend that analysis should be conscious of varieties of knowledge in human societies to maintain their position on the social construction of reality. For them, there is a relationship between human thoughts, history and social context. They draw on Mannheim’s work that society is imperative for the content of human ideas to argue that knowledge is always from a particular position. The influence of ideology can only be mitigated by the analysis of diverse socially
Society: the basics. New Jersey: Pearson Education. Critical Thinking: Symbolic-Interaction approach 3 There are three major sociological approaches; one of them is Symbolic-Interaction approach which is “framework for building theory that sees society as the product of the everyday interactions of individuals” (society: the basics pg15). Key terms to help understand and analyze the Symbolic-Interaction Approach are the meanings, definitions, interactions, and interpretations. Symbolic-interaction is how humans take in their surroundings and change it into meanings of the world.
Or we can say that conflict theory deals with the incompatible aspects of human society. Conflict theory emerged out of the sociology of conflict, crisis and social change. Consensus theory, on the other hand, is a sociological perspective or collection of theories, in which social order and stability/social regulation forms the base of emphasis. In other words consensus theory is concerned with the maintenance or continuation of social order in society; in relation to accepted norms, values, rules and regulations as widely accepted or collectively by the society-or within a particular society- itself. It Emerged out of the sociology of social order and social stability/social regulation.
Browne once said "sociological perspectives centre on how much freedom or control the individual had to influence society" He goes on to comment on the two main approaches "structuralism is concerned with the overall structure of society and the way social institutions act as a constraint, or limit and control individual behaviour". Structuralism offers a view of the individual being controlled by the society they live in, Marx and Durkheim are similar in that they can both be described as structuralists, however their individual ideas are somewhat different. Functionalism was developed by Emile Durkheim, he believed like Comte that sociology should be viewed as a precise science and that society should be studied objectively. Durkheim placed an enormous amount of emphasis on social facts which he saw as ways of acting, thinking or feeling that are external to individuals and have their own reality outside the lives and perceptions of individual people. This is known as the macro approach, which places a great emphasis on the structure of society and how an individual operates with that society.
These descriptive believe and meanings are nothing but interpretations given by the people thus the theory suggest that society is based on the interpretations of the people. The people interpret each other’s behavior and a social bond is thus created which is grounded on this interpretation. These interpretations are often called “definition of the situation” because they just define the situations. This theory says how humans develop a complex set of symbols that gives meaning to the world in their perspective. The