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Martha Hernandez

Sociology 1

January 20, 2017

Sociological Perspectives Writing Assignment

Sociology is a very broad subject and is in charge of studying society as a whole

to understand humans behavior, our interactions with each other and the purpose of our

lives in society. Sociology is divided into many branches in order to study in depth the

factors that affect our relationships; these branches are race, culture, social status,

religion, background, politics, customs and more. In sociology, a couple of theories were

proposed in order to explain the distinctive characteristics of social life. These are

Structural Functionalism, Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interactionism.

Structural Functionalism is a sociological perspective that concentrates on

assuming that society is very complex and that its parts work altogether in order to

provide stability in society. This theory is viewed in a macro level due to the fact it

focuses on society interactions as a whole. Herbert Spencer introduced a view of this

theory by comparing the human body needing all of its organs to work close together in

order to provide stability, control and function properly. He argued that society its just

like a human body made up of different components. Separations such as religion,

government, customs, etc are needed in order to provide equilibrium in society. For

example, laws are designed in order to provide guidance in our everyday life, without the

law anyone would be able to do anything the pleased without consequences, therefore
laws provide stability. Theses laws and regulations are set by a group of members that

work closely to provide a safer environment for others.

Furthermore, the second theory is the Conflict perspective that focuses on the

daily conflicts that society goes through in order to achieve and maintain power over one

another. The constant fight between each other to stay ahead of the game makes this a

competition where we all compete for resources such as money, power, properties, etc

Max Weber argued that the world inequalities in economics between the countries have

been lead by the conflict theory due to the ongoing disagreements between one another.

Conflicts can also arise from education, social status, religion and beliefs. For example,

feminism, the continuous fight from women to obtain equality of the sexes is an excellent

example of social conflict because women tend to be feel theyre being inferior to men in

the workforce and education. While some believe that men and women have different

roles in the world and that provides stability, feminists argue that we all must be seen as

equal regardless of the sex.

Finally, the third sociological perspective is Symbolic Interactionism. This theory

focuses into the communication of individual relationships between one another that are

defined by meaning/symbols rather than things. This is a type of theory that is often

researched and observed because it focuses on individual relationships within a small

group rather than society as a whole. For example, drinking alcohol has been proven to

be dangerous to our health when consumed often. Most of society is aware of this,

however many do not pay attention to the risks because they think its cool to get drunk

in order to have more fun, They are influenced on what they believe rather than what its
right. In this case the symbolism of their beliefs overcomes the actual realities about the

dangers of drinking alcohol.