An Analysis Of The Three Sociological Perspectives

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An Analysis Of The Three Sociological Perspectives Essay, Research Paper AN ANALYSIS OF THE THREE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES Through Analysis, A Compare and Contrast Of the Three Sociological Perspectives: Functionalist, Conflict, and Interactionist Bonnie Gunter Introduction to Sociology Dr. Malone February 17, 2000 Abstract This paper discusses three approaches that can be taken when studying Sociology. There are many subjects to be studied and discussed in the field of Sociology, and the approach chosen to study a particular subject is called a perspective. There are three different perspectives, and they are functionalist, conflict, and interactionist perspectives. This paper compares and contrasts these different perspectives with one another. Through Analysis, A Compare

and Contrast Of the Three Sociological Perspectives: Functionalist, Conflict, and Interactionist When studying in the field of Sociology everyone is going to approach topics in a different manner. No two people are going to have the exact same view on a particular subject. There are however, three major categories in which people might choose to approach topics. The approaches are know as sociological perspectives and are the functionalist, conflict, and interactionist perspectives. These perspectives name different ways in which different people choose to analyze a subject, and how they look at a society as a whole. The following paragraphs compare and contrast the three, and identify major characteristics of each. Functionalist Perspective Definition “The functionalist

perspective is a sociological approach which emphasizes the way that parts of a society are structure to maintain its stability,”(Schaefer & Lamm, 1998). This perspective looks at a society in a positive manner and sees it as stable, with all the parts working together. Under the functionalist view every social aspect of a society contributes to the society’s survival, and if not, the aspect is not passed to the next generation. Founders There are two people who where mainly involved in the development of the functionalist perspective, they are Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons. Durkheim contributed to the functionalist perspective when she was studying religion, and how it was responsible for people feeling solidarity and unity in groups. Parsons was a sociologist from

Harvard University who was greatly influenced by Durkheim. In return, he influenced Sociology by dominating the field, with his functionalist views, for four decades (Schaefer & Lamm, 1998). Characteristics When approaching a subject with the functionalist perspective, manifest and latent functions as well as dysfunctions are looked at and studied. A manifest function of an institution is one that is stated and expected. A latent function is one that is unexpected or can show a hidden purpose of an institution, and a dysfunction is a component of a society that can cause instability (Rothman, 1998). These functions and dysfunctions are use in analyzing a society. Functionalist perspective is an approach to studying a society on the macrosociological level. This means that a

society is studied on a large scale as a whole. The view of the individual in a functionalist perspective is that people are socially molded, not forced, to perform societal functions. Order in a society, as viewed by a functionalist, is maintained when members of a society cooperated with one another. Functionalists view social change as being predictable and positive. The main idea of functionalist perspective is that of stability (Schaefer & Lamm, 1998). Conflict Perspective Definition “The conflict perspective is a sociological approach which assumes that social behavior is best understood in terms of conflict or tension between different groups,” (Schaefer & Lamm, 1998). In contrast to the functionalist view of stability, conflict sociologist see a society as