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Perspectives Of Sociology Essay

2089 words - 9 pages

1. Compare and Contrast the three perspectives in Sociology.
Functionalism- A theoretical perspective, associated with Emile Durkheim, based on an analogy between social systems and organic systems. The character of a society's various institutions must be understood in terms of the function each performs in enabling the smooth running of society as a whole. Stable and made of intellectual social structures that work in harmony. Against change and believes changes reinforces the death of society.
ƒÜ     Conflict Perspective- Made up of only interest. Each society seeking to meet its own goals. Believes change is constant with potential positive consequences. A ...view middle of the document...

Comte studied the functional contribution of social institutions (such as the family, property and the state) to the continuity of social order. Human thought progressed by a process of decreasing generality and increasing complexity. Employing an organic analogy, Comte argued that society, through the division of labor, also became more complex, differentiated and specialized.
ƒÜ     Karl Marx- Marx was interested in the concept of alienation. One of the senses that he gave to the term was that of alienated labor, in which condition man had work imposed on him by others, a theme that was to run through all his subsequent contributions. Marx is best known for his views on the relationship between economic life and other social institutions. (Theory of Base and Superstructure). He thought that human labor was the basis of social activity, but also held that social institutions, like the state or the family, were relatively independent of the economy in their development and even had an influence on the operation of the economy. Those who own and control the means of production, and are able to take the product, form one class and those depending on their own labor alone the other. The form of the relations of production will vary from society to society, producing different class relations. He believed that change does not follow automatically from changes in the economic structure; class struggle as the active intervention of human beings is necessary. Developed the labor theory of value, the theory of capital accumulation, and the possibilities of capitalism's internal collapse.

Emile Durkheim- Defined the subject matter and establish the autonomy of sociology as a discipline. He explained that social phenomena occurred by reference to the actions and motives of individuals. He had a collectivist perspective on sociological analysis. He denied that the utilitarian version of individualism could provide the basis on which to build a stable society. He also asserted that the sociological method was to deal with social facts. The central theme of Durkheim's sociology was the idea of moral compulsion and normative constraint. He advocated guild socialism as a means of rebuilding cohesive and solitary social communities.
ƒÜ     Max Weber- He provided a systematic statement of the conceptual framework of the sociological perspective; he developed a coherent philosophy of social science, which recognized the essential problems of explanation of social action; in a variety of substantive fields, he grasped the basic characteristics of a modern, industrial civilization; through these empirical studies of modern society, he identified a number of key issues which have become the foci of the principal debates within the discipline; his own life in many respects provides a forceful example of sociology as a vocation. Weber's analysis of the methodological and philosophical problems of sociology is...

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