Sociological Theories: Functionalism, Interactionism And Conflict

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Sociological Theories: Functionalism, Interactionism and conflict

Sociological Theories: Functionalism, Interactionism and conflict


Sociological theories are the set of ideas and social settings that are the clarification of human society. Theories are different from one another in terms of their own perspectives and ideas and the information and data that they explain as important. Thus, they explain some parts of reality. Sociological theories are formed together depending on the variety of criteria and situations (Goodman; Ritzer, 2004). The research paper contains three sociological theories: functionalism, conflict and interactionism.

The chosen institution is family. A family is the social setting and a unit of socialization. The institution has various people live together in a social setting within the same environment and conditions. The three main perspectives that are connected with family are: functionalist perspective, conflict perspective and symbolic interactionism. The conflict and functional approach described family as a social institution and according to a macro level, the symbolic interactionism explained family in an individual context.

Thesis Statement

Affect of functionalist, symbolic interactionist and conflict perspectives on lifestyle of the family and society as a whole.


According to Parson (1951) the co-operation and stability of a society is based on the consensus value, which is a general agreement between the members of the society for the good and well-being of the society. A system of stratification, which is derived from the common values of the society, has to be followed by all the individuals of the society, because it is an integral part of the society. Those systems of stratification are the building blocks of the society.

The functionalist perspective of family

According to functionalist perspective, every member of a family is dependent o0n each other in a social condition and thus, changes the functions of society as a whole. In a broad perspective, the state usually provides funds for education for a child, and the family, consecutively pays tax to the government on which the state is dependent to run its operations. Therefore, the family is reliant on the school to educate their child, and assist the child in developing themselves and avail employment opportunities so that they can maintain their own families in the future. In the due process, the children learn to obey the law, learns the importance of paying tax to the government, and in this way, they assist the working of the state. If everything goes smoothly, the family would be able to establish stability, order, and productivity in the society. In this consideration, the functionalist approach states that every member of a family is dependent on each other in terms of working and society and family both work together towards their roles and cannot function without one another (Margolis 1984).

Functionalists perceived that society is united on the basis of social consensus or cohesion, which means that the members of society have the same beliefs and participate greatly in achieving things that are best for society as a whole. It does not encourages social change in the society and members are high resistant to ...
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