Four Perspectives Essay

674 Words Apr 9th, 2012 3 Pages
Principles of Sociology // SOCI10143_SPR08
Portfolio Assignment
April 11, 2008
The Four Perspectives There are four perspectives in the field of sociology. These four perspectives are symbolic interactionism, functionalism, conflict theory, and feminist theory. When evaluating a social problem, sociologists will typically use the theory which best relates to the problem. However, some sociologists may never favor a certain theory. Symbolic interactionism is a theoretical perspective in which society is viewed as composed of symbols that people use to establish meaning, develop their views of the world, and communicates with one another. Symbolic interactionism can be traced back to the eighteenth century when individuals
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These functions that make up a society can be either manifest or latent. A manifest function is intended to help a society and a latent function is an unintended consequence that helps the society. There can also be latent dysfunctions also. These are functions that are normally unintended but will eventually in someway hurt a society as a whole. Conflict theory is a theoretical framework in which society is viewed as composed of groups that are competing for scarce resources. Conflict theory is almost the exact opposite of functionalism. Conflict theory is explained as a competition for power and scarce resources in a society. In a society it is said that there is some small group that controls the means of production and exploits those who are not in control. Conflict theory was created around the time when capitalism was in its infancy. The best way to sum up the conflict theory is how it is stated in our textbook. “People are in a constant balancing act, with conflict lying uneasily just beneath the surface.” Feminists are not united by a conflict perspective; they use whichever theory applies. Feminists focus on the historical, global, and contemporary inequalities of men and women and how the traditional dominance of men can be over come to bring about equality of the sexes. The feminist theory can be seen almost everyday in a society. Women are constantly at the odds with men because they are trying to convince them that they can do anything

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