Q:

What is the sociological perspective?

A:

The sociological perspective is the study of human life and social interactions, as well as how those interactions shape groups and society as a whole. This perspective views society as a product created by humans that can be changed by them as well.

The three major sociological perspectives are symbolic interactionism, functionalism and conflict theory.

Symbolic interactionism, also known as the symbolic interaction theory, is a perspective that puts a large emphasis and symbolic meaning on the social interactions that humans develop. This theory was introduced by philosopher George Herbert Mead, but can be traced back to Max Weber. It examines the meanings that people impose on objects, events and behaviors.

Functionalism, a theory from Emile Durkheim, analyzes how social order is possible and how society remains stable. It states that each part of society functions to provide stability for the whole society. The institutions of society, like the government, are the strongest parts. If a society is disorganized, it must change to stabilize itself.

Conflict theory, derived from the works of Karl Marx, studies how power and coercion affect social order. Marx believed that those with the greatest political, economic and social resources would hold the most power in society, according to About.com. These powerful people would maintain social order through domination.


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