SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES

  • Created by: AnnabellP
  • Created on: 17-10-17 09:39

FUNCTIONALISM SAYS THE INDIVIDUAL IS THE PRODUCT O

  • EMILE DURKHEIM BELIEVED THAT SOCIETY IS MADE UP OF VARIOUS INSITUTIONS, EACH OF WHICH HAS A USEFUL FUNCTION.
  • THEY LOOK AT HWO SOCIETY IS STRUCTURED - IS IS A STRUCTURAL THEORY
  • FUNCTIONALISTS LOOK AT HOW INSTITUTIONS IN SOCIETY WORK, AND HOW THEY AFFECT INDIVIDUALS. FOR EXAMPLE

1) THE FAMILY - HAS THE FUNCTION OF SOCIALISING CHILDREN

2) EDUCATION - HAS THE FUNCTION OF PREPARING YOUNG PEOPLE FOR ADULT SOCIETY

3) RELIGION - HAS THE FUNCTION OF UNITING SOCIETY THROUGH SHARED BELIEFS

  • FUNCTIONALISTS BELIEVE THAT THE INSITUTIONS OF SOCIETY ARE STRUCTURED TO ALLOW SOCIETY TO RUN AS SMOOTHLY AS POSSIBLE
  • FUNCTIONALISM IS A TYPE OF CONSENSUS STRUCTURALISM BECAUSE IT STATES THAT SOCIETY IS STRUCTURED TO FUNCTION HARMONIOUSLY
1 of 15

FUNCTIONALISM SAYS THE INDIVIDUAL IS THE PRODUCT O

  • INTERACTIONISTS THINK THAT FUNCTIONALISTS DONT FOCUS ENOUGH ON THE INDIVIDUAL
  • MARXISTS SAY FUNCTIONALISM IGNORES THE UNEQUAL POWER OF SOME GROUPS. THEY THINK THAT SOCIETY IS STRUCTURED TO SERVE THE INTERESTS OF THE RICH, NOT TO KEEP SOCIETY TICKING ALONG AS SMOOTHLY AS POSSIBLE
2 of 15

MARXISM SAYS THE INDIVIDUAL IS THE PRODUCT OF ECON

  • KARL MARX FOCUSED ON THE EFFECTS OF CAPITALISM.
  • HE THOUGHT THAT A SOCIETY'S ECONOMIC SYSTEM (INFRASTRUCTURE) INFLUENCED ITS NON-ECONOMIC INSITUTIONS (SUPERSTRUCTURE), AND THAT THE SUPERSTRUCTRE, IN TURN, DETERMINED THE SOCIETY'S BELIEFS AND VALUES
  • MARXISM IS A TYPE OF CONFLICT STRUCTURALISM BECAUSE IT STAES THAT THERE IS CONFLICT BETWEEN THE TWO MAIN CLASSES OF SOCIETY
  • MARXISTS BELIEVE THAT THEM OST IMPORTANT FORCE IN SOCIETY IS CLASS CONFLICT

1) IN CAPITALIST SOCIETIES, WORKERS ARE EMPLOYED TO PRODUCE GOODS WHICH ARE SOLD BY THEIR EMPLOYERS AT A PROFIT

2) ONLY A BIT OF THIS MONEY GOES ON WAGES - MOST KEPT BY EMPLOYERS

3) MARX SAID THAT IF WORKERS WERE ALLOWED TO NOTICE THE UNFAIRNESS OF THIS, THEY'D REVOLT. SO, TO AVOID REVOLUTION, THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM SHAPES THE SUPERSTRUCTURE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE WORKERS ACCEPT THEIR LOT IN LIFE

4) INSTITUTIONS LIKE THE FAMILY, EDUCATION AND RELIGION ARE PART OF THE SUPERSTRUCTRE. THEY LEAD INDIVIDUALS INTO ACCEPTING THE INEQUALITIES OF CAPITALISM

3 of 15

MARXISM SAYS THE INDIVIDUAL IS THE PRODUCT OF ECON

  • MARX BELIEVED TAHT SOCIETY WAS DIVIDED INTO TWO CLASSES:

1) THE BOURGEOISIE WERE THE RULING CLASS - THEY WERE THE MINORITY BUT HAD ALLTHE MONEY AND POWER

2) THE PROLETARIAT WERE THE WORKING CLASS  - THEY FORMED THE MAJORITY OF SOCIETY BUT HAD LITTLE OR NO POWER

  • NEO-MARXISM IS A 20TH CENTURY VERSION OF MARXISM, DEVELOPED TO BE MORE RELEVANT TO THE MODERN WORLD.
  • NEO-MARXISTS FOCUS ON IDEOLOGY (A SET OF IDEAS AND BELIEFS ABOUT HOW THINGS SHOULD BE)
  • THEY STUDY HOW THIS IDEOLOGY IS COMMUNICATED AND ENFORCED BY THE RULING CLASS TO MAINTAIN ITS POWER
4 of 15

MARXISM SAYS THE INDIVIDUAL IS THE PRODUCT OF ECON

  • FUNCTIONALISTS SAY MARX PUT TOO MUCH EMPHASIS ON THE ROLE OF ECONOMIC STRUCTURES IN SHAPING IDEAS AND BELIEFS.
  • INTERACTIONISTS SAY HE PLACED TOO MUCH EMPHASIS ON CLASS AND NOT ENOUGH ON INDIVIDUALS
  • POSTMODERNISTS SAY SOCIAL CLASS DOESNT HAVE SUCH AN IMPORTANT INFLUENCE ON INDIVIDUAL IDENTITY ANY MORE. THEY SAY PEOPLE ARE DEFINED BY THE CHOICESS THEY MAKE, NOT BY WHETHER THEY ARE A WORKER OR A BOSS
5 of 15

FEMINISTS SAY WOMEN ARE OPPRESSED BY MEN

  • FEMINISTS BELIEVE THAT SOCIETY IS PATRIARCHAL - THAT IT'S RUN BY MEN, AND THAT THINGS ARE DONE IN MEN'S BEST INTERESTS.
  • THEY BELIEVE THAT THERE AR MANY INEQUALITIES IN SOCIETY BASED ON GENDER, AND WANT TO MAKE SOCIETY MORE BALANCED. FEMINISM IS ALSO A STRUCTURALIST THEORY. THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT STRANDS OF FEMINSM. THE MAIN ONES ARE LIBERAL FEMINISM, RADICAL FEMINISM AND MARXIST FEMINISM
6 of 15

FEMINSISTS SAY WOMEN ARE OPPRESSED BY MEN - LIBERA

1) LIBERAL FEMINISTS WANT EQUAL RIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN. THEY BELIEVE THAT INTRODUCING MORE OPPORUTNITIES FOR WOMEN INTO THE EXISTING STRUCTURES OF SOCIETY (E.G. THE LEGAL SYSTEM) IS THE BEST WAY TO TRY TO BRING ABOUT EQUALITY

2) RADICAL FEMINISTS BELIEVE THAT SOCIETY IS STRUCTURED TO OPPRESS WOMEN, AND THAT SOCIETY ITSELF NEEDS TO CHANGE. THEY BELIEVE THERE'S AN IMBALANCE OF POWER IN ALL RELATIONSHIPS, AND THAT ALL WOMEN ARE ALWAYS EXPECTED TO BE SUBSERVIENT TO ALL MEN

3) MARXIST FEMINISTS COMBINE THE BLEIFS OF MARXISM AND FEMINISM - THEY BELIVE THAT WOMEN ARE EXPLOITED BY CAPITALIST SOCIETIES (WHICH ARE RUN BY MEN)

7 of 15

FEMINISTS SAY WOMEN ARE OPPRESSED BY MEN - FEMINIS

  • RADICAL FEMINISTS CRITICISE LIBERAL FEMINISTS FOR NOT ACKNOWLEDGING THAT IT'S MORE THAN JUST INSTITUTIONS THAT ARE PATRIARCHAL - IT'S ALL RELATIONSHIPS. FOR EXAMPLE, FAMILIES HAVE A MALE-DOMINATED STRUCTURE TOO
8 of 15

INTERACTIONISTS SAY INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS ARE MOST IM

  • MANY SOCIOLOGISTS SAY THAT SOCIETY IS ACTUALLY DETERMINED BY THE BEHAVIOUR AND INTERACTION OF INDIVIDUALS
  • THEORIES LIKE THIS ARE CALLED ACTION THEORIES BECAUSE THEY EMPHASISE THE ACTION OF INDIVIDUALS, AS OPPOSED TO STRUCTURAL THEORIES LIKE FUNCTIONALISM AND MARXISM, WHICH ARE ALL AOBUT THE BIG STRUCTURES OF SOCIETY
  • INTERACTIONIST THEORIES START WITH THE IDEA THAT ALL INDIVIDUALS INTERPRET SOCIETY AROUND THEM - PEOPLE TRY TO MAKE SENSE OF SOCIETY.
  • INTERACTIONISTS SAY THAT CULTURE COMES FROM PEOPLE'S OWN IDEAS OF HOW PEOPLE ITNERACT WITH EACH OTHER
  • INTERACTIONISTS DON'T SAY STRUCTURES ARENT IMPORTANT, BUT THEY DO SUGGEST THAT EACH OF US RESPONDS TO SICAL STRUCTURES IN OUR OWN WAY. WE AREN'T JUST PRODUCTS OF SOCIALISATION - WE ALL HAVE FREE WILL AND MAKE CHOICES.
  • THE RESULTS OF INDIVIDUAL CHOICE CAN BE LARGE-SCALE SOCIAL CHANGE.
  • FOR EXAMPLE, JONATHAN GERSHUNY (1992) MADE AN INTERATIONIST ANALYSIS OF GENDER ROLES IN THE HOME.

1) SOME WOMEN DECIDED THEY WANTED TO WORK OUTSIDE THE HOME - INDIVIDUAL CHOICE

2) MALE PARTNERS THEN TOOK ON MORE CHILDCARE AND HOUSEWORK. IT BECAME ACCEPTABLE FOR MEN TO ADOPT ROLES IN THE FAMILY THAT HAD BEEN  FEMININISED - LARGE-SCALE SOCIAL CHANGE

9 of 15

INTERACTIONISTS SAY INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS ARE MOST IM

  • MARXISTS SAY INTERACTIONISTS DON'T PAY ENOUGH ATTENTION TO CONFLICT OR TO THE FACT THAT SOME SOCIAL GROUPS ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN OTHERS
  • FUNCTIONALISTS SAY THEY DON'T ACKNOWLEDGE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SOCIALISATION PROCESS
10 of 15

LEARN THE MAIN POINTS OF EACH THEORY

  • FUNCTIONALISM - SOCIETY IS MADE UP OF DIFFERENT INSTITUTIONS THAT FUNCTION TOGETHER AS A WHOLE
  • MARXISM - SOCIETY IS SPLIT INTO TWO CLASSES. THE RULING CLASS OPPRESS THE AND EXPLOIT THE WORKING CLASS
  • FEMINISM - SOCIETY IS PATRIARCHAL AND WOMEN HAVE FEWER RIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITIES THAN MEN
  • INTERACTIONISM - THE BEHAVIOUR OF AND INTERACTION BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS DETERMINE HOW SOCIETY WORKS.
11 of 15

NEW RIGHT SOCIOLOGISTS SAY TRADITIONAL VALUES ARE

  • LIKE FUNCTIONALISM THE NEW RIGHT IS A FORM OF CONSENSUS STRUCTURALISM. NEW RIGHT THEORISTS ARE SIMILAR TO FUNCTIOAL THEORISTS IN THAT THEY BLIEVE SOCIETY NEEDS VALUES AND INSTITUTIONS TO MAINTAIN SOCIAL ORDER.
  • NEW RIGHT THEORIES FOCUS ON SUBJECTS SUCH AS FAMILY, EDUCATION AND WELFARE.
  • THEY ARGUE THAT A NUCLEAR FAMILY - MADE UP OF PARENTS AND THEIR DEPENDENT CHILDREN ALL LIVING TOGETHER - IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS.
  • THEY ARGUE THAT TRADITIONAL ROLES WITHIN THE NUCLEAR FAMILY ARE CRUCIAL TO MAINTAIN SOCIAL ORDER
  • NEW RIGHT SOCIOLOGSTS SUCH AS CHARLES MURRAY SAY THAT TRADITIONAL FAMILY IS UNDER THREAT, WHICH AS LED TO A DECLINE IN MORAL STANDARDS AND THE BREAKDOWN OF SOCIETY.
12 of 15

NEW RIGHT SOCIOLOGISTS SAY TRADITIONAL VALUES ARE

  • FEMINISTS CRITICISE THE NEW RIGHT'S IDEAS OF TRADITIONAL ROLES WITHIN THE FAMILY, WHICH THEY SEE AS BEING OPPRESSIVE TO WOMEN AND REINFORCING A PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY
13 of 15

POSTMODERNISTS SAY SOCIETY IS CHANGING

  • POSTEMODERNISM CAME ABOUT AS A REACTION TO MODERNISM
  • MODERNISM IS A PERIOD OF INDUSTRIALISATION AND URBANISATION THAT BEGAN WITH THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, WHEN RATION, SCIENTIFIC THINKING WAS VALUED. MODERNIST THEORIES INCLUDE MARXISM AND FUNCTIONALISM. MODERNIST THEORIES ARE ALSO KNOWN AS METANARRATIVES.
  • POSTMODERNISTS SAY THAT SOCIETY HAS MOVED ON FROM MODERNISM - IT'S NO LONGER ORDERED AND STRUCTURED IN THE SAME WAY. SOCIETY IS A LOT MORE FLEXIBLE, AND THERE'S MORE CHOICE OF CULTURE AND LIFESTYLES DUE TO INCREASED GLOBALISATION
  • THEY CLAIM THAT METANARRATIVES ARE NO LONGER APPROPRIATE - THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT WAYS OF UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY, RAHTER THAN ONE UNIVERSAL TRUTH OR THEORY.
14 of 15

POSTMODERNISTS SAY SOCIETY IS CHANGING - OTHER SOC

  • FUNCTIONALISTS DISAGREE WITH POSTMODERNISTS BECAUSE POSTMODERNISM IGNORES THE ROLE OF INSTITUTIONS
  • INTERACTIONISTS DISAGREE WITH POSTMODERNISTS BECAUSE POSTMODERNISM IGNORES HOW INDIVIDUALS INTERACT
  • MARXISTS DISAGREE WITH POSTMODERNISTS BECAUSE POSTMODERNISM IGNORES INEQUALITIES
15 of 15

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all THE BASICS OF SOCIOLOGY resources »