Comparison and Differentiation of Sociological Theories Sample Essay

Evolutionary theories are based on the premise that societies bit by bit change from simple beginnings into even more complex signifiers. Early sociologists get downing with Auguste Comte believed that human societies evolve in a unilinear way- that is in one line of development. Harmonizing to them societal alteration meant advancement toward something better. They saw alteration as positive and good. To them the evolutionary procedure implied that societies would needfully make new and higher degrees of civilisation. L. H Morgan believed that there were three basic phases in the procedure: savageness. brutality and civilisation. Auguste Comte’s thoughts associating to the three phases in the development of human idea and besides of society namely-the theological. the metaphysical and the positive in a manner represent the three basic phases of societal alteration. This evolutionary position of societal alteration was extremely influenced by Charles Darwin’s theory of Organic Evolution.

Those who were fascinated by this theory applied it to the human society and argued that societies must hold evolved from the simple and crude to that of excessively complex and advanced such as the western society. Herbert Spencer a British sociologist carried this analogy to its appendage. He argued that society itself is an being. He even applied Darwin’s rule of the endurance of the fittest to human societies. He said that society has been bit by bit come oning towards a better province. He argued that it has evolved from military society to the industrial society. He claimed that western races. categories or societies had survived and evolved because they were better adapted to confront the conditions of life. This position known as societal Darwinism got widespread popularity in the late nineteenth century. It survived even during the first stage of the twentieth century. Emile Durkheim identified the cause of social development as a society’s increasing moral denseness. Durkheim viewed societies as altering in the way of greater distinction. mutuality and formal control under the force per unit area of increasing moral denseness. He advocated that societies have evolved from a comparatively uniform societal construction with lower limit of division of labour and with a sort of solidarity called mechanical solidarity to a more diifferentiated societal construction with maximal division of labour giving rise to a sort of solidarity called organic solidarity. ( 1 )

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Spencer defined sociology as the survey of social development and believed that the ultimate end of social development is complete harmoniousness and felicity. Spencer’s theory of evolutionary alteration is built upon three basic rules: integrating. distinction. and determinateness. Spencer argued that homogeneous phenomena are inherently unstable. which makes them capable to changeless fluctuations. These fluctuations force homogenous systems to distinguish. which consequences in greater multiformity. In other words. homogenous systems grow to go heterogenous. ( 2 )

Spencer focused much of his energy on seeking to legalize sociology as a scientific subject. He argued that laypeople might believe they cover with the same issues as sociologists do ; nevertheless. they are non trained to adequately grok these issues. One of the ways that Spencer believed sociology could go more legitimate was for sociologists to analyze other subjects. particularly biology and psychological science. Biology could be linked to sociology through the hunt for the basic “laws of life. ” understanding society as a “living body” and concentrating on human existences as the get downing point of sociological enquiries. Psychology is utile to sociology because it helps to demo that emotions or sentiments are linked to societal action. Harmonizing to Spencer. persons are the beginning of all societal phenomena. and the motivations of persons are cardinal to understanding society as a whole. ( 2 )

Structural-Functional Paradigm

The Structural – Functional Paradigm looks at society as a stable and orderly system in which the members portion a common set of values. beliefs and behavioural outlooks. Society is so a set of interconnected parts. each of which serves a map. and contributes to the overall stableness of a society. A society has a series of constructions that all operate together to organize a stable society. Stratification is a normal portion of the system. since different places carry different grades of trouble and necessitate progressively more qualified persons to make full those places. Structural-functional attack is a model for constructing the theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to advance solidarity and stableness. This attack focuses on the importance of societal construction – a comparatively stable form of societal behaviour. Social structures give our lives form in households. the work topographic point. or the college schoolroom ( Macionis. 2009 ) . Other illustrations of societal constructions are wellness. media. diversion. athleticss. faith. socialisation and aberrance. ( 3 )

Structural functionalism drew its inspiration chiefly from the thoughts of Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. It Emphasizes the cardinal function that understanding between members of a society on ethical motives dramas in keeping societal order. This moral consensus creates an equilibrium. the normal province of society. Durkheim was concerned with the inquiry of how societies maintain internal stableness and survive over clip. Durkheim proposed that such societies tend to be segmentary. being composed of tantamount parts that are held together by shared values. common symbols. or as his nephew Marcel Mauss held. systems of exchanges. In modern. complex societies members perform really different undertakings. intending that a strong mutuality develops between them. Based on the metaphor of an being in which many parts function together to prolong the whole. Durkheim argued that complex societies are held together by organic solidarity. He espoused a strong sociological position of society which was continued by Radcliffe-Brown. who. following Auguste Comte. believed that the societal constituted a separate degree of world distinct from both the biological and from inorganic affair.

The cardinal concern of Structural Functionalism is a continuance of the Durkheimian undertaking of explicating the evident stableness and internal coherence of societies which are necessary to guarantee their continued being over clip. Societies are seen as coherent. bounded and basically relational concepts. who function like beings. with their assorted parts ( societal establishments ) working together to keep and reproduce them. The assorted parts of society are assumed to work in an unconscious. quasi-automatic manner towards the care of the overall societal equilibrium. All societal and cultural phenomena are. hence. seen as being functional in the sense of working together to accomplish this province and are efficaciously deemed to hold a ‘life’ of their ain. They are so chiefly analysed in footings of this map they play. Persons are important non in and of themselves but in footings of their position. their place in forms of societal dealingss. their functions and the behavior ( s ) associated with their position. The societal construction is so the web of positions connected by associated functions. ( 4 )

Social Conflict Paradigm

Social struggle theory is a Marxist-based societal theory which argues that persons and groups ( societal categories ) within society have differing sums of stuff and non-material resources ( the wealthy vs. the hapless ) and that the more powerful groups use their power in order to work groups with less power. The two methods by which this development is done are through beastly force normally done by constabulary and the ground forces and economic sciences. Earlier societal struggle theoreticians argue that money is the mechanism which creates societal upset. The theory farther provinces that societies created from ongoing societal struggle between assorted groups. There are other theories of aberrance. the functionalist theory. the control theory and the strain theory. It besides refers to assorted types of positive societal interaction that may happen within societal relationships. ( 5 )

See paying rent towards lodging. The struggle theoretician argues that this relationship is unequal and favors the proprietors. Tenants may pay rent for 50 old ages and still derive perfectly no right or economic involvement with the belongings. It is this type of relationship which the struggle theoretician will utilize to demo that societal relationships are about power and development. ( 5 )

Padgitt continues. “Marx argued that through a dialectic procedure. societal development was directed by the consequence of category struggle. Marxism argues that human history is all about this struggle. a consequence of the strong-rich working the poor-weak. From such a position. money is made through the development of the worker. It is argued therefore. that in order for a mill proprietor to do money. he must pay his workers less than they deserve. ( 5 )

Therefore. the societal struggle theory provinces that groups within a capitalist society tend to interact in a destructive manner. that allows no common benefit and small cooperation. The solution Marxism proposes to this job is that of an workers’ revolution to interrupt the political and economic domination of the capitalist category with the purpose of reorganizing society along lines of corporate ownership and mass democratic control. ( 5 )

Symbolic Interaction Theory has been a powerful theoretical model for over 60 old ages. It provides dramatic penetrations about human communicating behaviour in a broad assortment of contexts. The theory is logical in its development. get downing with the function of the ego and come oning to an scrutiny of the ego in society. In this chapter we noted that the theory is heuristic. placing its application in a assortment of contexts. including media. organisational. and interpersonal. Yet. the theory is non without its critics. ( 6 )

The major expostulations raised in respect to SI be given to concentrate on the undermentioned countries: It is excessively wide. it places excessively much accent on personal behaviour. it neglects other of import variables. and it is non confirmable. We briefly explore these unfavorable judgments below. ( 6 )

Some critics complain that SI is excessively wide to be utile. This unfavorable judgment centres on the rating standard of range. SI covers excessively much land. these critics assert. to to the full explicate specific meaning-making procedures and communicating behaviours. Related to this is the expostulation that the constructs that make up the theory are loosely drawn and instead obscure. Additionally. due to this vagueness. SI is hard to distort. In response to this unfavorable judgment. SI advocates explain that SI is non one incorporate theory ; instead. it is a model that can back up many specific theories. In the more specific theories. like Role Theory. for illustration. the constructs are more clearly defined and are capable of disproof. ( 6 )

A 2nd country of unfavorable judgment concerns Mead’s accent on the power of the histrion to make world. Critics observe that this ignores the extent to which people live in a universe non of their ain devising. SI theoreticians regard a state of affairs as existent if the histrions define it as existent. But Erving Goffman ( 1974 ) remarks that this impression. although true. ignores physical world. For case. if Roger and his parents agreed that he was an first-class applied scientist and that he was making a fantastic occupation at his new house. that would be world for them. Yet. it would non admit the fact that Roger’s foreman perceived his accomplishments as unequal and fired him. SI theoreticians counter by mentioning that they try to step a in-between land between freedom of pick and external restraint. They recognize the cogency of restraint. but they besides emphasize the importance of shared significances. ( 7 )


1 ) sociologyguide. com/social-change/evolutionary-theories. php 2 ) highered. mcgraw-hill. com/sites/0072824301/student_view0/chapter4/chapter_summary. html 3 ) World Wide Web. studymode. com/essays/Structural-Functional-Approach-Paradigm-362059. html 4 ) integratedsociopsychology. net/structural-functionalism. html 5 ) nut. wikipedia. org/wiki/social_conflict_theory

6 ) highered. mcgraw-hill. com/sites/0073135615/student_view0/chapter5/ 7 ) sociology. about. com/od/sociological-theory/a/symbolic-interaction-theory. htm


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