There are three theoretical perspectives in Sociology. They include the following: Symbolic Interactions, Functional Analysis, and Conflict Theory. In this assignment, I will discuss the historical development of each of the theoretical perspectives and their founding sociologists. Symbolic Interactions is when a society attaches meaning. The theory looks at how an individual defines themselves and others. This theory had two founders: Charles Horton Cooley and George Herbert Mead. Symbols are thought to be the key to our sophistication that separates us from the animal kingdom.
A symbol may be a relative or a mentor. Symbols give us direction and defines us and our relationship. Symbols are the essence of being Human. Without this Symbolic culture, we would not have laws, government, and our parents. We would not have boundaries and moral obligations. The idea of Functional Analysis is that society consists of groups that work together to fulfill a given function. The founder is Robert Morton. He did not agree with the organic analogy. He did look at society as a whole that had smaller parts that work together. His references for Functions were beneficial uniqueness of an individuals actions.
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In doing so this keeps society in balance. His definition of Dysfunctions are consequences that harm society. He thought functions were either Manifest or Latent. A manifest function is supposed to help a part of the societal system. Latent functions are accidental consequence that actually helps a societal system adjust. Latent dysfunctions are when the accidental consequences cause harm to the system. The Conflict Theory analyzes societal patterns on a large scale. This Theory suggests that the groups that make up our society are constantly struggling and sighting to gather and maintain scarce resources.
Beneath this facade lies a groups’ constant battle for power. Karl Marx was the founder of the conflict theory. He bore witness to the Industrial Revolution. Peasants would leave the land to work within the cities and unfortunately the wages they worked so hard for WOUld barely cover the cost of food. As a result of witnessing the exploitation Marx started looking at Society and history which resulted in the Conflict Theory. Human history is actually Class Conflict. An example in today’s times is Walter. It is owned by a small group/shareholders.
The Corporation then turns around and exploits individuals that do not have the resources to otherwise be self- employed or find better higher paying employment as a result of economy or education. The Corporation pays employees minimum wages and as a result of the company keeping hours down, they are not required to provide health insurance. Today isn’t near as dark as it used to be. During Marx time the capitalist would use politics and legal system to subdue the employed. No matter the century, we will still be able to observe the Conflict Theory/Class Conflict throughout every generation.