Sociological Perspectives: an Analysis on the Three Main Sociological Theories Abstract: When taking Into consideration all social sciences, numerous behavioral and cognitive theories have been developed and revised over the years. Although this Is true, some of the more influential and accurate theories have remained almost completely unchanged yet they still envelope modern day perspectives.
Symbolic interactions, functional analysis, and the conflict theory are among these main harries; they have been used to described various factors in society and still continue to hold true to their definitions. With further exploration and research, an overview on these concepts will be given with contextual evidence. Keywords: symbolic interactions, functional analysis, conflict theory, social science, sociology, behavioral, cognitive Sociological theories are used to describe and explain Just about any occurrence In society.
From cultural customs and traditions, to street and white collar crime, to changes In social norms, the main perspectives can be used to find out their true repose and origin. Every established sociologist has their own views, but for the most part they will fall into categories having to do with the main three perspectives. For each topic, there are also many subtopic perspectives and theories to assist in explaining some of the more specific events throughout life. For now, an overview between symbolic interactions, functional analysis, and the conflict theory will be given, with contextual evidence of each.
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Symbolic interactions can be defined as an individual acting upon or towards something based on their prior interaction or interpretation with that subject. Any and all past experiences and feelings are combined to form a reaction to the subject. A great example brought up by James Hansel Is the meaning of marriage and all of Its components. This Includes factors such as marriage Itself, divorce, parenthood, and love. Each of these concepts had a changed view one hundred years ago, fifty years ago, and even ten years ago.
They are constantly changing, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. When considering marriage pre-1920, they were entirely based upon essential and purposeful decision such as “settling down” and purchasing land, having kids, and investing. This was all much rather done with a companion. Now, when marriage is connections to each other. Two individuals may have separate lives and self- supporting, but Just want to marry for the sake of having a partner. Divorces were also unheard of in the past. They were used only in the case of adultery or complete disagreement with domestic issues.
But now, divorces are quite common, and no longer symbolize failure but as success and a new start. (Heinlein 17) We, as humans, are independent thinkers and can constantly Judge the actions of things around us. All factors in our environments can change these thoughts, but nothing can cease them. This is better known as our conscience, our individual though with no chance of elimination. A better description of this process was described by the author of Symbolic Interactions: An Introduction, An Interpretation, An Integration, “The human being must be understood as a thinking being.
Human action is not only interaction among individuals but also interaction within the individual. It is not our ideas or attitudes or values that are as important as the constant active ongoing recess of thinking. We are not simply conditioned, we are not simply beings who are influenced by those around us, we are not simply products of society. We are, to our very core, thinking animals, always conversing with ourselves as we interact with others. If we want to understand cause, focus on human thinking. ” (Sharon 31) Sharon truly emphasizes, on the most basic level of our being, how we coexist together.
On the inside, we are nothing more than animals with constantly changing views of society and the individuals factors within it. No matter how hard some will ray (and have tried) it is an impossible feat to completely change every person to be like-minded, for there will always be change and differing in morals or ethics. Symbolic interactions will always be a relevant perspective as long as our brains continue to function. Connections and emotions will be transferred from human to human and from human to object to form a large, total interrelated web.
Functional analysis is a theory meaning society performs as a whole with many interconnected parts. All factors of society, such as customs of cultures and criminal activity, are embodied to create a functional environment. Generally designed by Robert Morton, functional analysis takes every factor of society into account to provide a result. Sometimes these factors end up bringing unintended consequences, which Morton referred to as latent dysfunctions. For example, a large and long running custom in the Mexican culture is the acquaintance at a 16 year old girls birthday.
This signifies that the young lady has made it to adulthood and takes on more responsibilities now. Say, for sake of a theoretical example, that the government required all girls to now eve their acquaintance at the age of 12, a “doctor. ” Young ladies are now expected to get Jobs to help support the family and do more rigorous chores around the house. It wouldn’t take long for the social lives and educational careers of the girls to plummet. Although these aftermath factors may not be expected when initiating such a plan.
Changing gears and bringing in a factor from the opposite side of the spectrum, crime, be can also see how everything in society has a purpose. Also examined in a criminal Justice class of mine, conflict theory is often viewed by criminologists and investigators in order to find origins for some types of crime. A paper written by graduate students from Cardiff University, I-J, depicts some of Deuterium’s most influential ideas on functional analysis. Here, the students write about his views on fundamentally from the conventional path.
While most criminologists treated crime as a pathological phenomenon and sought psychological causes in the mind of the criminal, Druthers saw crime as normal in terms of its occurrence, and even as having positive social functions in terms of its consequences. Crime was normal in hat no society could enforce total conformity to its injunctions, and if society could, it would be so repressive as to leave no leeway for the social contributions of individuals. Deviance from the norms of society is necessary if society is to remain flexible and open to change and new adaptations. (Bancroft) By this, we can conclude that crime existence only shows humanity and realism in an environment. To attempt to completely demolish crime is a very idealistic and even impossible feat. I found this example to be one of the more interesting since crime has existed reeve and seems as though it will continue to exist. Even with corrections and punishment at the rate they rate they are today, crime will continue to perform as an interconnected part of society. Lastly, the conflict theory, Just as it sounds, involves all conflict oriented factors.
Differences in power and control, whether it be an individual or group, spark social conflicts through society. This theory could also be used when describing how an individual may commit crime in order to get ahead of life. Often told as the “American Dream,” people in America have expectations of large houses, nice cars, ND other luxuries of life. When these are not obtained fairly, possibly because of monetary or social inequalities, some individuals will commit white collar and larceny type crime to obtain their wants.
Even for a successful person, they can sometimes stoop to low levels in order to provide. Alan Sears said it best, “Consensus is a euphemism for ideology. Genuine consensus is not achieved, rather the more powerful in societies are able to impose their conceptions on others and have them accept their discourses. Consensus does not preserve social order, it entrenches transformation. ” Being above the rest is a desired characteristic for some people, and a social necessity for other. Regardless, this cause conflict between the persons involved.
Group conflict is also relevant, especially with how connected the world is as a global society. Some theorists say that underdevelopment in certain Third World countries is actually meant to be. Lowly functioning nations are available for exploitation and colonization by larger countries. When a multinational corporation becomes powerful enough, they can even have influence on the development, whether it be political, economic, or other features of change. This is desired purely to show power and dominance or more area, which in turn can start conflict. Sears 35) Each of the above sociological perspectives has large significance when attempting to explain any problems or occurrence within society. Each can be used as a model to exemplify how the structure of that specific situation should be, and how it can change to become the model structure. Although there are many subtopic theories, these main three will surely remain mostly unchanged within the social sciences for years to come. Bancroft, Ensues and Stoned Rogers, edited by Pierre Staples (2010).
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