Sociological theories-conflict vs consensus (summary)

These notes are ones that I made for my exam, and really helped me revise and get the top grades.

This is an overview of the main theories to sociology, including functionalism, marxism, feminism and weberism.

They're set in mind map/bullet point format.

I hope they help y'all, and good luck :D

P.s.These notes may contain some minor grammatical errors like spelling misakes, but all information is correct.

P.p.s. I sat the exam in June 2013 btw

Feel free to check out my other Sociology notes, aswell as my psychology ones :D

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  • Created by: Glambert
  • Created on: 20-02-14 23:43

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Slide 1

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Overview on Sociological
Consensus Means agreement. A consensus theory believes that society and every institution
within it is in agreement with each other as without it society would collapse and be in chaos.
They also believe that in society everyone must agree on basic rules and norms. Therefore there
must be `value consensus' within society for society to survive and be stable.
Conflict Means disagreement. A conflict theory believes conflict is the main characteristic of
society, like how the rich and powerful take advantage of others. Therefore this means that
within members of society inequality and conflict of interest exists between groups of people.
10. They have a structured
approach towards focusing on 1. Consensus
institutions rather than 11. It's a macro theory
individuals. theory 2. Believe all institutions
agree with each other.
9. They are positivists (believe that
society can be compared to the
human body). They say that the
functionality of organs impacts 3. Therefore society is in
other organs, depending on each equilibrium
other for survival. This is the same
case for institutions. Functionalism
4. This leads to
social stability and
8. They recognise social solidarity.
change as
evolutionary change
7. They disagree with 5. They look at the role of
(slow), giving people
dysfunctions in society 6. Value institutions and argue each
time to adjust to
(drugs, crime, divorce), as consensus also institution meets the
these changes.
this leads to society leads to social functional pre-requisites
breakdown, leading to an solidarity. (basic needs for survival),
unstable society. of each individual society.
· A theory that wants equal rights for women.
· It's a structural theory, as it looks at the institutes and whether they limit
the rights of women.
· But they also have a micro approach as they look at individuals (women).
· They believe men are the dominant gender, so women experience
patriarchy, or believe patriotic institutions exist.
· They believe in gender inequality and exploitation is present in society
and is directed towards the female population.…read more

Slide 2

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Overview on Sociological
10. therefore the society has 11. This communism
12. It's a
gone through a REVOLUTION. is the aim of the 1. Conflict
macro theory
This leads to a state of Marxists. theory
COMMUNISM- no class
2. Believe there is class
conflict between different
9.But when they do realise the
unfairness the workers get together
3. Therefore society is in
(collective power) and demand
changes e.g. strikes/ unions. They
are now experiencing `Class Marxism
consciousness'. 4. Believes there is
conflict between upper
and lower class.
8. However, they
don't` realise they're 7. The exploitation (low 5. Believe that in todays
being exploited so wages) leads to the owners 6. The Capitalistic society, there is
are in a `false class making more profit. This proletariats are conflict between the
consciousness''. increases gap between exploited by the business owners/upper-
upper and lower class. bourgeoisie. class (Bourgeoisie), and the
workers/lower- class
Social Action Theory-Weberism
· Put forward by Max Weber.
· Opposite of structural theory, as it observes the behaviour of
individuals, and how they effect society.
· Therefore it's a macro theory.
· Also known as `Interpretive Perspective', because they focus on how
people interact with each other, and the meanings/motives behind their
· Opposite theory of Functionalism and Marxism.…read more




This was super helpful! I have just started studying sociology at AS level and was struggling to get my head around this. I understand it now :)

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