Theoretical Perspectives Of Structural Functionalism Essay example

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The idea of society is structured around how individuals interact as a whole. When looking at these human interactions, a sociologist develops theories. A theory is defined as sets of ideas, which best explain the known facts about a topic in a way which makes sense. (Claerbaut, 2015, para. 3) Theories are testable, and when dealing with human behavior, can show how humans conduct themselves differently in groups than they do individually. Examining theories one step further leads to a theoretical perspective, which is how one sociologically views the world. The three theoretical perspectives of structural functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism are all valid, but the world is best represented by structural functionalism because the latter two do not represent society as a whole.
The beauty of society is that every individual has his or her own sociological view of the world, views which can be separated into three systems. The first system, structural functionalism, views society as an intertwined system of structures and functions that work together to operate the society. This system can be seen as nuts and bolts that are used to operate a larger machine (society). However structural functionalism fails account for power and social change, something that the next system, conflict theory, is based upon. (Claerbaut, 2015, para. 8) Conflict theory views the world as a place in which groups are always in a battle over wealth, power and prestige. Which can…

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