Functionalist and conflict theory

6 June 2016

Functionalism is macro level analysis. It focuses on how people come together to create society. It focuses on whether actions are good for the equilibrium of society, these are called functions. It also focuses on things that undermine the equilibrium, these are called dysfunctions. According to functionalism society is composed of interdependent parts working together to fill the needs of society. Individuals occupy fixed social roles, viewed society as an entity larger than the sum of its parts, conceptualized social facts as social patterns external to individuals. discovered the social basis of human behavior. disorganization and adjustment to achieve equilibrium and consensus on common values.

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Functionalist Theory: assumes that society is an organised system, & people hold same basic values and offcourse, all major parts of society support the system Conflict theory do not see society as whole coming together well for one purpose. It focuses on class conflict. A key founder of conflict theory was Karl Marx. He believed that there is a bitter conflict between the bourgeoisie (those who own the capital) and the proletariat (the workers who toil for low pay). He believed this conflict could only end when the proletariat repelled agings the bourgeoisie.

Conflict Theory actually which is Marxist-based social theory argues that individuals and groups (social classes) within society have differing amounts of material and non-material resources (the wealthy vs. the poor) and that the more powerful groups use their power in order to exploit groups with less power. Individuals subordinated to society. Work was devoted to explaining how capitalism shaped society. Profit is produced through the exploitation of the working class. Considered the economic organization of society the most important influence on what humans think and how they behave.

Theorized that society had three dimensions: political, economic, and cultural. Believed that to understand social behavior one had to understand the meaning that a behavior had for social actors. Struggle, competition and power, coercion. Conflict Theory: is based on the idea of social control and manipulation by powerful group(s). Ultimate control of everything is based on money, wealth and economic power oriented toward change, not the status quo same goal as functionalism: general theory about everything in society.

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