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soc theories

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Lina Samuel

5/24/2012 9:29:00 PM MAIN THEORETICAL TRADITIONS IN SOCIOLOGY 1.Functionalism 2.Conflict theory 3.Symbolic interactionism 4.Feminist theory FUNCTIONALISM Durkheim’s theory of suicide is an example •Stresses human behaviour is governed by relatively stable patterns of interaction ex Durkheim said suicide is influenced by social solidarity; social structures are macrostructure •Focuses on how social structures either maintain or undermine social stability - D analyzed how growth of industries/ cities lowers social solidarity contributing to social instability. Instability= ^ suicide •Argues social structures are based mainly on shared values - when D talked about social solidarity he meant the frequency and intensity of social solidarity as a moral cement that binds people together •Suggests re-establishing equilibrium as a solution to most social problems D said that people want less (lower expectations), social stability would rise and fewer suicides. Functionalism= solves social unrest. th Functionalism influenced 19 century but mostly in Great Depression Parson: various institutions must work to ensure the smooth operation of society as a whole ex the school teaches students skills; religion teaches morals. Critized: for exaggerating the degree members share common values Merton: Social structures have different consequences for different groups of people Consequences may be dysfunctional- are effects of social structures that create social instability - Some functions are manifest- visible or intended ex transmit skills from one generation to the next or latent- invisible or unintended ex encouraging the development of a separate youth culture that conflicts with parents values CONFLICT THEORY- Karl Marx and Webber KARL MARX •Focuses on large, macro-level structures (e.g., relations between or among classes) •Shows how major patterns of inequality produce social stability in some circumstances and social change in others •Stresses how members of privileged groups seek to maintain advantages, while subordinate groups struggle to increase theirs •Typically recommends eliminating privilege as means of reducing social conflict and increasing sum of human welfare Marx: owners of industries are eager to improve the way work is organized and to adopt new tools, machines, and production methods.  Allow them to produce ^ profits / drive inefficient competitors out of business  the drive for profits causes workers to be put
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