Reading Assignment Sociology

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Sara De Cubellis February 18th 2013 1251591 John Abbott College Introduction to Sociology Reading Assignment #1 Question #1 The textbook used within this class is Society: The Basics written by John J. Macionis, S. Mikael Jansson and Cecilia M. Benoit. Within Chapter 1, they discuss three major theoretical perspectives, which help sociologists and students understand society. A theory is defined to be “a statement of how and why specific facts are related” (Macionis, Jansson, and Benoit 10). The three theories that are presented are the structural-functional approach, the conflict approach and the symbolic-interaction approach. For the purpose of this paper, I have chosen to compare the first two using the topic of education (which is further discussed in Chapter 14 of the same book). The structural-functional approach, also known as structural functionalism or the blue theory, “sees the society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability” (Macionis, Jansson, and Benoit 10-11). One may want to think of a watch whose parts come together as a whole in order to give the time of the day. How does education relate to this sociological theory? As any other service offered to society, it has its functions. Not only does it socialize and culturally innovate population by leaving it into teachers’ hands to pass on their knowledge to future generations, it socially integrates students as schools are becoming more and more ethnically diverse. Schooling leads to a certain social placement as the higher education and specialization one receives, the better job and pay they will be getting later on in life. These are the main functions that are known through out society. However, education and schooling provide less recognizable functions such as daycare for the working parents and allowing adults to
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