The sociological theory upholds that, people are not instinctively good or bad, happy or depressed, and intelligent or ignorant, but are rather shaped into their own individuality over time by the interactions, connections and relations that one endures along with the situations and circumstances which are undergone throughout a lifetime. First off what is sociology? Well it is the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society, or to put it more simply it is the scientific study of social structure. With that is where the understanding of the sociological perspective comes into play. There are two major aspects in regards to the sociological perspective, the first being interaction between social structure and an individual and the idea of two levels of analysis.
Including social institutions, a system of behavioral and relationship patterns, having specific roles to perform to make society. I believe the Functionalist theory best describes society. Personally I believe society can only be stable through social order. Including that part is primarily institutions of society. Amongst family, community, religion, academia, business, media, and government are all equal but, when one gains predominance tyranny always emerges.
It focuses on how people come together to create society. It focuses on whether actions are good for the equilibrium of society, these are called functions. It also focuses on things that undermine the equilibrium, these are called dysfunctions. For example functionalist Conflict theory do not see society as whole coming together well for one purpose. It focuses on class conflict.
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.
As sociologists our main goal is to understand social situations and look for repeating patterns in society. Sociologists are engaged in rigorous scientific endeavour which requires objectivity and detachment. The main focus of sociology is the group and not the individual. Sociologists attempt to understand the forces that mold individuals, shape their behaviour and thus determine social events. Through a variety of experiences we develop a set of ideas about the world and how it operates.
This is because Durkheim is primarily concerned with solidarity: what holds individuals together in social institutions? Durkheim believed that solidarity was the normal condition of society, and even though he recognized the turmoil may sometimes arise. These conflicts are abnormal rather than normal. Durkheim identified two major types of social integration, mechanical and organic. The former refers to integration that is based on shared beliefs and sentiments, while the latter refers to integration that results from specialization and interdependence.
It follows that specific agglomerations of ‘reality’ and ‘knowledge’ pertain to specific social contexts, and that these relationships will have to be included in an adequate sociological analysis of these contexts.” (p15) Berger and Luckmann believe that the sociology of knowledge should be concerned with a society’s criteria of knowledge and how this is developed. Their postpositivist stance is clearly laid out when they write of how members of society arrange their world view around their ‘here and now’, both originating and maintaining their ideas of reality and knowledge from their own thoughts and actions (and other significants in their life) rather than anything truly objective. The world of everyday life is not only taken for granted as reality by the ordinary members of society in the subjectively meaningful conduct of their lives. It is a world that originates in their thoughts and actions, and is maintained as real by these. (p 33) Berger and Luckmann believe that semiotics or signification is the primary means by which human beings categorise their subjective view of the world.
The cultural aspect of the sociological imagination involves the “learned ideas, values, knowledge, rules and customs shared by members of a collectivity” (Holmes et al, 2003, pg 11). Culture in the sociological imagination allows the comprehension of why people hold certain ideas and values, and follows certain rules and customs. The critical aspect of the sociological imagination stipulates the initiative to analyze. Although it is, by human nature, to assume the meaning of actions carried out by people, C. Wright Mills claims that assumptions are not enough. Through assumptions, many things are taken for granted and the true meaning is not revealed.
They are both structuralist theories, the individual is viewed with less importance than the social structure or organisation of society. Functionalists see society as being made up of interdependent sections, which will work together to fulfil the functions necessary for the survival of society as a whole. They see shared norms and values as being fundamental to society. Functionalists believe that society can be compared to a living organism, in a way that all interdependent parts (organs) must function together in order for the greater society/body to function. Functionalists see society as a group of institutions.
From a multicultural psychological perspective individualism and collectivism are concepts that enclose essential differences in how the interactions between people and their roles in societies are build. Individualism "stands for a society in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after himself or herself and his or her immediate family only" (Hofstede, 1994). Individualism, the fundamental unit is the individual and the society that promotes individualism supports people’s well- being