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Major Types Of Sociological Perspectives

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Sociological perspectives help us explain and predict the world we live in. Ferrante (2016, 25) defines sociological perspective as “a framework for thinking about, describing, and explaining how human activities are organized and how people relate to one another and respond to their surroundings.” Sociology has three major sociological perspective, 1) factionalism, 2) symbolic interaction, and 3) conflict. Each perspective gives us explanation about how we socialize and behave.

Functionalist Perspective

Functionalist theorist believe that every single part of society has a purpose to help society function the best way possible. Ferrante (2016, 26) uses the analogy of the human body in comparison of functionalist. The human body is composed of bones, blood, heart, brain, and lungs etc. Together each component plays a part. Just like our body have parts society has them as well. Society parts maintain social order. For example, the government pays federal employees to do the job they assigned too. Those employees use those wages to pay there rent or mortgage, bills, food, daycare, and whatever else that is needed to meet their needs. When the government shutdown it disrupted the social order. Those employees had to find other ways to meet their everyday needs, with hope of not losing everything.

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Symbolic Interaction Perspective

Ferrante (2016, 29) defines social interaction as, “everyday encounters in which people communicate, interpret, and respond to one another’s words and actions. This perspective helps us interpret things as symbols to communicate with each other. Symbols are any thing that people assign a name, meaning, or value too. For example, when my daughter extends her arms out towards me, that’s her way of communicating pick me up. There are many different symbols and some symbols are shared. Shared symbols are learned by the way a culture attaches it to an object. This perspective also focuses on self-awareness. When you can discern and appraise yourself from someone else’s point of view you are self-aware. You recognize with others see you for.

Conflict Perspective

Conflict theory holds that social order is maintained by domination and power, rather than harmony and conformity. People who are wealthy and have power tries to keep it and will do whatever it takes. They do this by overpowering the poor and powerless. For example, Karl Marx upheld that the Industrial Revolution was led by two distinct classes. One class was the bourgeoisie, the owners on the means of production. The second class was the proletariat, they worked for the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie goal is to make a profit. To do so they hired the lowest cost workers. These workers often knew, their labor was worth more and they wanted a pay increase. The conflict between the two was profit and pay increase. Conflict is what causes division in society.

Work Cited

  1. Ferrante, J. (2016). Seeing Sociology: An introduction. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning

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Major Types Of Sociological Perspectives. (2021, September 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 25, 2023, from
“Major Types Of Sociological Perspectives.” Edubirdie, 16 Sept. 2021,
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