Primary Theoretical Perspectives of Sociology

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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. These theoretical perspectives contain three primary sociological views: Symbolic Interactionism, Functionalism, and Conflict Theory. Together, these perspectives offer us an elucidation about the social differences of humans all over the world. Within this paper, these three perspectives will be purposefully explained and analyzed to provide a better understanding of how and why Sociological views vary. Symbolic Interactionism is one of the major theoretical perspectives of Sociology. It is defined as a theoretical perspective in which society is viewed as composed of symbols that people use to establish meaning, develop their views of the world, and communicate with one another. A professor at the University of Chicago, named George Herbert Meade (1863-1931.), introduced the original ideas that formed around this perspective (Henslin, pg. 24). His thoughts on symbolism, in combination with Charles Horton Cooley’s thoughts on the matter, would be the basis for this perspective that coined its name from one of Mead’s students, Herbert Blumer. The basis of their ideas was focused around the way that symbols were used as a way for people to interact with each other and define social
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