They believe society is held together by a shared culture into which all it's members are socialised. It enables members of society to agree on goals and how to acheive them, this allows them to cooperate harmoniously.
See society as a biological organism such as the human body. Society is a system of independant parts, each part performs functions that contribute to the well being of society as a whole.
Believe there are fundamental divisions and conflicts in society, they see gender as the most important division.
They regard society and it's institutions as being patriarchal (male-dominated). For example they see family as unequal and oppressive, with women doing most of the housework and childcare.
They see society as based on class conflict, not consensus. They argue that society is divided into two social classes:
- The minority capitalist class- own the means of production such as the factories, raw materials and land
- The majority working class- own nothing but their own labour, which they have to sell to the capitalists in order to survive
The capitalists exploit the workers and profit from their labour. The exploitation breeds class conflict, which Karl Marx believed would eventually lead to the working class overthrowing capitalism and creating a classless, equal society
Believe that we are now living in a post modern society. Unlike modern society, where individuals share a common culture or class identity, post modern society is fragmented into a wide variety of different groups.
These groups are based on differences in ethnicity, age, religion, nationality, sexuality and so on. This diversity gives individuals more freedom to pick ans mix their identities from a wide variety of society.