Thursday, 26 October 2017

Major theoretical perspectives in sociology


Sociology as a science is to understand the views or theories to interpret, analyze and interpretation of social phenomena. explain social reality that they must undergo a theoretical framework.
A theory is defined as a general statement about how some parts of the world fits together and works (Macionis, 1997).
Scupin and Decorse (1995), a theory as a set of interrelated assumptions to provide a general explanation of natural and social phenomena.It should also be noted that the term "vision" and "flow" is often used interchangeably with the term "theory".
There are three main theoretical perspectives in sociology, which have an overall framework provided by sociological studies. These structural-functionalism, social conflict theory and symbolic interactionism. There are theories that emerged from the major ones as well .

1.      The structural-functionalist theory
This is one of the dominant theories both in anthropology and sociology. It is also called functionalism. The theory tries to explain how the relationships develop between the parts of society and how these elements are functional ( positive consequences) and dis-functional (negative consequences). It focuses on consensus, social order, structure and function in society.
This theory sees society as a complex system in which the components work together to promote the unity and stability; states that guided our social life social structure relatively stable patterns of social behavior (Macionis, 1997). Social structure is understood in terms of social function, which has an impact on the activities of the society. All social promotes the functioning of society. The key terms and concepts developed by anthropologists and sociologists this theory include ;sequence, structure, function, and balances.
Holding the view that it will ask: what hold society together? What is it stable? The structural-functionalist theory pays much attention to the existence of shared ideas in society. The functional aspects of the structural-functionalist theory emphasizes the role of each of the components of the social system, while the structural perspective suggests a picture of society in which individuals are constrained by social forces, social background and group memberships.
Many of the great founders of the early sociologists such as Augustus Comte, Emile Durkheim and later Herbert Spencer and American sociologists as Talkot Parsons and Robert K. Merton. -functionalist structural theorists of modern sociology are more likely to follow in the tradition of the writings of certain Emile Durkheim, who is considered the leading proponent of this view (Hensiln and Nelson, 1995).
After dominating the sociology and anthropology for a long time, this theory has been challenged by the major critics, especially those who represented the social -conflict theory (see below). The theory was attacked because of the emphasis on stability and order, while neglecting conflicts and the changes that are so important in a society.

        2. The Social Conflict Theory
This theory is also called Marxism; to indicate that give big boost to the theory arises from Karl Marx's writings theory sees society as part of a class conflict and focuses on the struggle for scarce resources by different groups in a given society. It asks questions like how the society pulls apart. How to change society? The theory holds that the most important aspect of the social order is the domination of one group by another, actual or potential conflicts are always present in society. The writings of Karl Marx generally the spirit of conflict theory, Marxism and affects most theorists conflict in modern sociology.
The theory is useful in explaining how the dominant group to use their power to exploit the more powerful groups in society. Key concepts developed in this direction are: conflict, complementation, struggle, power, inequality and exploitation.

           3.       Social Exchange Theory

This theory focuses on "the costs and benefits that people get from social interactions, including money, goods, and status. It is based on the principle that people are constantly working to maximize the benefits. However, to receive these benefits, there must always be an exchange process with others "(Marcus and Ducklin, 1996: 26)
Public Choice Theory: This theory suggests that collective organizations such as political parties act rationally to maximize their own benefits. It argues that individual differences are best resolved through collective involvement in the organization. The role of government is crucial in arbitrating between the main interests (ibid, same page).

Rational Choice Theory: This theory assumes that people will act in a rational way and will try themselves for the good of the life choices they make structuralism.
This theory denies any basis for active people, because consciousness is no longer seen as the basis of meaning in language. Structuralism is different from the traditional mainstream theory that rejects objective social reality and a concept of society as an objective, external entity. It refers to the social reality in terms of the relationship between events, not in terms of objects and social reality. Its basic principle is that it is remarkable only useful to the extent that it may be related to an underlying structure or sequence (swing Wood, 1984).
The equivalent of structuralism in anthropology, promoted by the famous French Structuralist anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, states that "the origin of the universal principle that the way we act and think about the world order can be found in structures of human thought "(Howard and Dunaif-Hattis, 1992: 373) .. the problem with this theory is that they see in society static and does not help much in explaining the variation between society. The theory treats culture as a certain order and failed to explain the adaptive cultural dimensions.
Cultural dimensions:
Post-structuralism and post-modernism:
 focuses on the power of language in the construction of knowledge and identity. The authors in this field is highlighted the role of language in human life, the language dictates the attitude we have, and how it constructs meaning for us. Post-Structuralists argue that people can not come they can call us at (universal) truth. There is no connection between words (language) ideas and real world. It denies the sociological idea that our concept has some relevance to the real world. It is not possible to cause dangerous sociological facts and such attempts (Bliton, et al ,. 1996 Kirby, et al. 2000).
Postmodernism: The basis of post-modernism post-structuralism. Postmodernism is defined as a cultural and aesthetic phenomenon mostly rejected orders and development, objective and universal truth; and supports the need for recognition and tolerance of various forms of reality. This is to celebrate the tendency to chaos and disorder, diversity and fragmentation in modern global society, rather than want to get the order. The theory states that absolutely no reason human life and existence (Bliton, et al ,. 1996 Kirby, et al. 2000). Post-Modernists assert, "Power has become decentralized and fragmented contemporary society" (Torres and Mitchell, 1998). The theorists of post-structuralism share lost by the post-odernists.
A note on the use of sociological theories of health, culture and society can be important here. Each of the above sociological theories of his own views on medicine and society. But for the sake of brevity, it would just focus on the three main theories:

• Structural functionalism: the version of this theory, as applied can be referred to the medical advertising community as "medical ecological approach sees the structural functionalism theory of medicine and healthcare systems as important social institutions, and address. These functionality and roles played by institutions and odder maintaining stability in society. the medical or scientific or traditional and various practitioners exists to meet the needs of individuals and society (and Henslin Nelson, 1995).

• Symbolic interactionist theory: this theory, as applied to medicine and society can be termed as the "cultural interpretationist approach This approach focuses on the social and cultural constructions of health, illness and disease .
According to this theory, illness and health are not the only things that exist "out there"; These productions of social interaction; and health and disease are largely determined by the way people as actors give meaning to them and how the actors react to it socially and culturally sanctioned way.

• Chaos Theory: The equivalent of this theory to medical sociology and anthropology can be designated as "critical" or "radical political economy" approach. It is an approach that emphasizes the socio-economic inequalities in power and wealth greatly affects the health status and access to health services in turn. Individuals, groups, communities and even countries therefore tend disproportionate share of resources to health; and this often leads to uneven distribution of morbidity and mortality patterns under a certain society; enjoying the power and dominance of better health and marginalized groups that suffer the burden of disease (Turner, 1987).


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