Sociological Perspectives : Functionalism, Conflict, And Interactionism

1281 Words Sep 14th, 2016 6 Pages
Whether we know it or not, sociology surrounds us in our daily lives. Each day, humans interact and have relationships with each other in different ways. Sociology is how social scientists use systematic and objective, critical thinking to understand how humans and society function. Sociologists utilize three main sociological perspectives - functionalism, conflict, and interactionism – in order to describe how the world works (Schaefer 2015). The functionalist theory, introduced by Émile Durkheim, attempts to explain society like a living organism such as a tree (Schaefer 2015). Both the tree and society have needs that must be met in order to survive. Also, functionalism is used to describe how aspects of society are structured, beneficial, and maintained over time. Another sociological perspective is the conflict perspective, which Karl Marx used to explain society as “tension between groups over power and allocation of resources” (Schaefer 2015:14). As the third main sociological perspective, the interactionist theory uses basic forms of social interaction such as symbols and nonverbal communication to explain society; George Herbert Mead is regarded as the founder of this perspective (Schaefer 2015). Although all three sociological perspectives describe humans and society, I will mainly be focusing on the functionalist perspective to explain my examples of ethnocentrism, which is known as people believing their culture is superior to another culture (Schaefer 2015).…

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