Unlike other functionalists, Parsons argues that individuals are integrated through socialisation and social order. He sees some similarities between society and a biological organism i.e. body parts are inter-related, so is society, as different institutions assist in socialisation. However, over socialization, as Durkheim argues, could be a motive to suicide as the individual tends to put others before themselves. One of the main objectives of functionalism is to find out, how social order is possible.
Q. Discuss the major differences as well as similarities of Macro sociological theories? There are two main theories which are classified under macro sociology which are functionalism and conflict. This paper will focus on those two theories, its objective is to delineate the assumptions of these theoretical perspectives and apply the assumptions to an analysis of social stratification. How this will be accomplished will be by comparing and contrasting their assumptions.
Macro theories include Functionalism and Marxism, who see individuals as puppets, under the control of social structures. One micro approach to sociology is Weber’s social action theory. According to Weber, in order to understand human behaviour, we must take into account both the level of structural cause, and the level of subjective meaning that individuals attach to their actions. Weber argues that there are an infinite number of subjective meanings that actors give to their actions; however he attempts to classify actions into four types. Instrumentally rational action refers to action that is driven by a given goal, in order to achieve through the most efficient means.
Theories and Perspectives in Sociology, Understanding sociological Theory In the study of how society works, sociologists use theories, to help explain human behaviour. Within sociology, there are several theories and perspectives used to do this. These are divided into three main theories structural functional, Conflict and social action theory. The social action theory is micro a study of society, this theory looks at individual’s behaviour and how individuals interact with each other. As stated in Giddens, sociologists who support this theory see individuals as not created by society but as the creators of society.
Discuss the meaning of the term balancing conflicting interests. Critically analyse the extent to which the law does balance conflicting interests and discuss any difficulties it faces in doing so? First we must discuss the theorists and what they thought the law did about conflicting interests and whether the law is able to balance these or not. Firstly Karl Marx said that the law was made for the benefit of those who own the capital to ensure the continued oppression of the workers. Therefore the law did not resolve conflicting interests but imposed the interests of one group over another.
Firstly is social interest, such as health and safety and public order, whilst individual interests include privacy and domestic relations. Pound believed where possible the law should create a level playing field of these interests meaning social interests should be weighed against social interests and individual interests against individual interests as a failure to do this will result in a bias in favour of social interest. Karl Marx believed the law was part of the ‘repressive state apparatus’ used to ensure the continuing exploitation of the working class members of society by the upper and ruling classes. For Marx, the law treated as lesser the interests of the lower classes to those of the upper classes and so did not and would not truly
This essay will compare and contrast both the Marxism theory and the Functionalism theory of topics in society. The topics of society this essay will discuss are: Families, Education, Employment and Religion. This essay will look at evidence supporting these theories and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses. In Sociology there are many theories on different society based topics. A sociological theory is the same as a sociological perspective; it is a way that sociologists look at something.
These differing views can be illustrated by the case studies of Monderman’s thesis and the Buchanan report, which focus on two different approaches to traffic governance. But first this essay will address both Goffman’s and Foucault’s theories. Goffman studied what he termed ‘interactional order’ – how society is constructed by its individuals, and how social order comes about through repetitive actions and interactions in the micro - the smallest scale of social life (Silva, 2009, p.309). Goffman believed that social behaviour was ‘dramaturgical’, with individuals each trying to put on a type of social ‘performance’ in order to best represent themselves, (Silva, 2009, p. 172) with the use of language, body language, eye contact and facial expression. He saw these ‘performances’ as everyday rituals of tact and trust, which make up the rules of conduct in an ‘invisible social order’.
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.
Functionalism and Marxism are both different sociological perspectives that state theories about society, these theories attempt to explain how society influences people and how people influence society. These two ideologies however are very different. Functionalists see society as based on value consensus, this means agreements. They believe society is held together by a shared culture. Sharing the same culture integrates individuals into society by giving them a sense of solidarity with others.