There are three primary sociological theories discussed in Chapter One of the text, Introduction to Sociology. Briefly summarize each theory and the major differences across the Functionalist, Conflict, and Symbolic Interaction perspectives.
The Structural Functionalists
Structural functionalist theory was formulated by Radcliffe-Brown, and expounded by Evans-Pritchard: The structural functionalist sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability and focuses on the relationships between the various social institutions like government or religions. This theory recognizes that there is an inherent drive within human societies to stick ...view middle of the document...
Gumplowicz an early conflict theorist describes in his book Outlines of Sociology, how civilization has been shaped by conflict between cultures and ethnic groups. (Vissing, 2011)
This theory and its tools have produced many movements, both in the historical workplace and in the political system. “Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. learned from the practice of the labor moement and from these theorites that withholding one’s cooperation through strikes aned civil disobedience was a powerful method of struggle.” (Bartos & Wehr, 2002)
Symbolic Interactionism developed from the work of Charles Horton Cooley and George Herbert Mead in the early part of the twentieth century. The symbolic interaction theory, a framework more than a theory, supports that human beings do what they do based on their interaction with other human beings in society, a possible unsystematic theory because the ‘big picture’ may be missed as this perspective focuses on the subjective aspects of social life. The foundation principles according to Blumer are meaning, language, and thought. (Vissing, 2011)
* Meaning - humans act toward people and things based upon the meanings that they have given to those people or things
* Language - gives humans a means by which to negotiate meaning through symbols