2010-03-15_150803_Sociology

2010-03-15_150803_Sociology - 1 Running head: SOCIOLOGY AND...

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1 Running head: SOCIOLOGY AND THE FAMILY Sociology and the Family Full Name Name of Institution
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2 SOCIOLOGY AND THE FAMILY Abstract Sociology is an area of study based on reality. Its observations and applications are founded in reality, and its theories have been derived out of various experiences of reality and now affect common perception of the same reality. The three main theories of sociology – Functionalism, Conflict Theory, and Interactionism – give rise to a different understanding of and attitude toward the different sociological institutions. Understanding the main concepts of the different theories, and then seeing how each theory can affect one social institution, such as the family, differently can present a more holistic understanding of the concepts as they apply to reality.
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3 SOCIOLOGY AND THE FAMILY Sociological Theories Functionalism, the Conflict Theory, and Interactionism comprise the three main sociological theories. These theories affect the way people think and perceive the world around them. As a result, the development, nature and understanding of different social institutions, including the family, health-care systems, religion, education, media, politics and economy, are determined or affected by these three social theories. To understand the three theories and how they affect different social institutes, one must first understand what a sociological theory is. The definition put forth by Purdue states the following: “Sociological theory is a set of assumptions, assertions, and propositions, organized in the form of an explanation or interpretation, of the nature, form, or content of social action” (Purdue, p. 1). Each sociological theory mentioned above – functionalism, conflict, and interactionism, presents a different set of assumptions or perspective that define a particular way of understanding of social action. A social action is anything that takes others (society into account). Social institutions revolve around social action. An institute, like the family, is both the product of social action, and the cause of social action through its life-giving nature and principles of education. The sociological theory of Functionalism is defined by Britannica Encyclopedia as “a theory that stresses the interdependence of the patterns and institutions of a society and their interaction in maintaining cultural and social unity” (Britannica Encyclopedia). This theory further implies that our social systems have needs and the social institutions provide functions that respond to those needs. Thus society functions on a need-answer basis that is established through the patterns and interactions of social institutions.
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4 SOCIOLOGY AND THE FAMILY The Conflict Theory, presents a view of society in a way that “the society or organization functions so that each individual and its groups struggle to maximize their benefits, which
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This note was uploaded on 06/06/2011 for the course SOCIOLOGY 312 taught by Professor Thomas during the Summer '10 term at Ashford University.

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2010-03-15_150803_Sociology - 1 Running head: SOCIOLOGY AND...

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