Essay Structural Functionalism And Conflict Theory

1097 Words Jul 16th, 2015 5 Pages
Since the beginning of civilization, humans have come together in order to survive more easily and grow. Over time, the number of people grew until society became what it is today. In order to meet the basic needs of growing populations, societies had to develop certain social institutions such as, the economy, politics, family, religion and education. The three sociological perspectives used to analyze social institutions are the structural functional, conflict and symbolic interactionist perspectives. In this essay I will focus on the opposing macro level perspectives, structural functionalism and conflict theory. According to the structural functional perspective of sociology, these social institutions work together to keep society stable and balanced. In conflict perspective, social institutions we also created to meet the basic needs of society but focus on how institutions maintain inequality through competition. I believe that the structural functionalist view of sociology provides that best basis for analysis of modern social institutions, because society is best viewed as a series of integrated systems that work together to meet the social needs of society as a whole, and not as a hierarchy of competing systems. The five main social institutions that we have today arose out of a necessity for structure and carries out tasks that ensure the survival of society. When viewed through a functionalist perspective, these social institutions, the economy, government,…

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