Principle Sociological Perspectives

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Unit 7- social perspective for social care P1- explain the principle sociological perspectives Functionalism- is a sociological approach that sees the institutions of society as working in close harmony with each other, making specific and clear contributions to the smooth running of society. Functionalism is the structuralism theory which means that it sees the individual as less important than the organisation of society as a whole. Society is more important because the individual is produced by society. People are the product of all the social influences on them. For example the nature vs nurture debate. Talcott parsons (1902-79) were a key functionalist thinker. He saw society as a system made up of interrelated institutions (like the human body) He thought the main role of an institution was to socialise individuals so they behaved in acceptable ways. He argued that socialisation is the key to understanding patterns of human behaviour. Our behaviour is controlled by the rules of society into which we are born; the result is we don’t have to be told that what we are doing is socially unacceptable- we already know and feel uncomfortable if we don’t conform to social norms. He wrote about American society (1951) and argued that the family had two basic functions: * Primary socialisation of children. * Stabilisation of adult personalities. The main criticism of functionalism as an approach is that I does not address areas of conflict (which are found in all societies) and paints a rosy picture of institutions, implying that organisations always run smoothly and co-operate well with each other. Some groups have more wealth and power than others and may impose their views on less powerful groups Marxism- Marxism is the theory that society is in a constant state of conflict between the rich and poor, society uses a system called capitalism to keep
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