Principle sociological perspectives Essay Example
Principle sociological perspectives Essay Example

Principle sociological perspectives Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (1014 words)
  • Published: August 4, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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Various sociological perspectives have been explored by sociologists to comprehend society and human behavior, including different aspects of health and illness and their impact on society. Investigating all social structures and the socialization process is essential to understand sociology. Auguste Comte (1798-1857) developed Functionalism, which prevailed until the 1970s when it was further developed in the 20th century by Talcott Parsons. Functionalists believe that social institutions exist to satisfy individuals' biological needs such as medical attention, knowledge dissemination, law enforcement through hospitals, schools, and police mechanisms by fulfilling specific functions. They consider individuals as products of society that help maintain social control and balance while these institutions influence individuals through experiences used for benefiting overall society.

Functionalists and Marxists have different views on society. Functionalists see it as a biolo


gical organism where all parts work together for the benefit of the whole, with individuals having no power to change society or their own lives. For functionalists, police, schools, hospitals, family values and traditions are necessary for proper functioning and they believe in adhering to the same rules with an ideal nuclear family structure.

In contrast, Marxism is based on Karl Marx's belief that sociology is only an analysis and explanation of conflict. He saw individuals as powerless and believed that eliminating economic class differences would make society equal. According to him, class differences were not natural or necessary but his ideas became popularized after his death through a condensed worldview.

Karl Marx's communist ideology is based on a society with two main social classes: the ruling bourgeoisie and working-class proletariat. The lower-ranking proletariat sell their labor to the powerful bourgeoisie, but power levels vary within each class. The

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working class aims for fair wages, while the wealthy bourgeois focus on maximizing profits. Society benefits disproportionately favor the rich, which Marx criticizes as capitalism allows some individuals to lead more prosperous lives than others.

Marx envisioned a society where the proletariat has power and equal opportunities irrespective of their skills. This would result in fair wages, as well as access to quality resources like hospitals, housing, and education. However, the bourgeois hold sway over the proletariat leading to inequality in practice. Similarly, feminists aim for gender equality between men and women.

Following the war, a movement emerged to encourage women to return to their traditional roles as homemakers. This involved assuming responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children. Nevertheless, numerous women began challenging these expectations and questioning why they were assigned these duties. Feminists assert that society subjugates women through a patriarchal system that persistently discriminates against them.

In World War I, there was a scarcity of male labor which resulted in some women stepping into positions typically reserved for men in factories and mills.

The aim of feminism is to guarantee that women receive their rightful rights, even if it may be a challenging task to challenge the societal norms assigned to them. Feminists argue that female production roles and options are limited by the nuclear family structure, resulting in oppression for women. The Suffragettes were at the forefront of Britain's feminist movement, advocating for women's voting rights and influence in society. However, during World War One, they halted their campaign as women were encouraged to take on jobs left vacant by men fighting on the western front.

Women played a crucial role in preventing

Britain from experiencing famine. This was achieved through the work of various groups such as land girls who rendered vital services on farms. Additionally, working-class females were invaluable in industries and the production of munitions, even doing the most demanding and hazardous jobs.

It could be argued that the government only granted women the right to vote after the war, in 1930, so that wealthy people could balance out the number of votes from working-class men returning from the war.

George Medd, a social psychologist, explored Interactionism which focuses on how individuals create their own social world. According to Interactionism, individuals develop through stages of 'play and game'. In the play stage, children enact familiar roles such as teachers, parents, nurses or doctors without understanding how these roles interact. In the game stage, children have a wider understanding and develop social awareness through interacting with these roles.

Interactionism takes a different approach to society, focusing on a smaller scale and rejecting the application of broad concepts to the whole. They believe that humans are unique because they can reflect on their own actions and thoughts. Interactionists place emphasis on shared understanding of societal object meanings, created through social interaction. In contrast, Collectivism emerged with the poor law in 1601 and asserts that society and its members are responsible for meeting the needs of all individuals. But, despite minimal aid provided mainly for starving individuals, collectivists still lay blame on individuals for their poverty.

The government obtains revenue from taxes and national insurance contributions made by citizens. These funds are utilized to finance social care, healthcare, and education services. Collectivists strive to correct social inequalities through compensating

individuals with lower wages and guaranteeing access to costless education and healthcare facilities. In this society, all people have an equal share in the benefit of any production means, irrespective of their wealth. Conversely, the New Right viewpoint prioritizes individual freedom and maximizing personal liberties.

Advocating for limited government involvement in personal affairs and considering state aid intrusive, this group draws inspiration from Margaret Thatcher's mindset. Despite deregulating education and healthcare, they maintain a negative outlook on dependence on governmental support and resist its interference. Additionally, their influence has led to new approaches regarding patient autonomy within the NHS system. Rejecting traditional sociological perspectives such as feminism and Marxism, postmodernists assert that societal structures like family dynamics, religion, and economic systems are constantly evolving. They challenge the notion of prioritizing scientific reasoning over superstition in comprehending social phenomena.

Emerging in the mid-1980s, post-modernism is regarded as one of the most recent sociological perspectives. Post-modernists argue that society is experiencing swift transformation and individuals have a vast array of choices when it comes to selecting their lifestyle.

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