Sociological Perspectives In Sociology

1281 Words 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, …show more content…
One particular person I talked to was an atheist, and this led to a conversation about our beliefs and religion. We both already had preconceived ideas about our beliefs, but we were convinced that our belief was the right one. This is an example of ethnocentrism because we both believe our way of thinking is superior to the other. With ethnocentrism, it is difficult to think open mindedly about religion or any other topic where disagreement lies. The sociological imagination, however, allows us to examine each other’s beliefs as an “outsider rather than only from the perspective of personal experiences and cultural biases” (Schaefer 2015:5). This unbiased and objective behavior can allow us to have an informative conversation because we cannot use preconceived notions or personal biases about Christianity or atheism; we can just try to understand one another. I believe this method of understanding people is what Max Weber describes as verstehen, which uses understanding and insight to comprehend other people’s behavior (Schaefer 2015). I personally love this about the sociological imagination because it allows humans to view the world from other people’s perceptions and attain a clearer insight into their lives. Without the sociological imagination, understanding the perceptions of other people would be very difficult (Schaefer 2015). Although the sociological imagination is a great tool to utilize, it may take some practice to use it to its full potential. Even though we did not change each other’s beliefs, the sociological imagination can allow for further insight and knowledge about other people’s perception of

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