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Compare and contrast any two major theoretical perspectives in Sociology.

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?Compare and contrast any two major theoretical perspectives in Sociology? In this essay I am going to compare and contrast functionalism and Marxism, showing how each have some similarities but different in each theory. Sociology is a systematic way of studying the social world. It seeks to discover the causes and effects of intercommunication and interaction that arise in social relations. "The science of society" was developed as a discipline in the 19th Century by Auguste Comte, a French philosopher. For him, common sense and the obvious would not suffice; he wanted to build scientific theories based on critical awareness of society. It is simply the study of human behaviour in terms of group membership and group organisations. Sociology focuses on the structural nature of society and is a very broad area that examines how we as people interact with each other and how human behaviour is shaped by social structures such as groups, communities or organisations also by social categories like age, sex, class and race and social institutions based on politics, religion and education. The Socialization process is also a very important area and shows us how roles and attitudes are passed down from one generation to another, by which children and adults learn from others. We begin learning from others during the early days of life, and most people continue their social learning all throughout life. ...read more.


Auguste Comte had a significant part in the formation of sociology. Comte was the founder of French positivism. Comte can also be given credit for inventing or coining the term sociology. Positivists believe that human behaviour can be objectively measured. Comte's philosophy of positivism developed from historical studies of the human mind. This led to Comte's views of the three stages of the history of sciences. In order as follows, the stages are: Theological - nature has a will of its own. This stage is broken down into three stages of its own, including animism, polytheism, and monotheism. Metaphysical state - though substituting ideas for a personal will and Positive - a search for absolute knowledge. Comte was claiming that it was possible to study human behaviour scientifically just as the scientist in the laboratory studied human matter and able to explain the relationship between cause and effect. Durkheim was concerned primarily with how societies could maintain their integrity and coherence in the modern era, when things such as shared religious and ethnic background could no longer be assumed. In order to study social life in modern societies, Durkheim sought to create one of the first scientific approaches to social phenomena. Along with Herbert Spencer, Durkheim was one of the first people to explain the existence and quality of different parts of a society by reference to what function they served in keeping the society healthy and balanced, and is thus sometimes seen as a precursor to functionalism. ...read more.


In other words, it looks at how the family, as an institution, helps in maintaining order and stability in society, and the significance of the family for its individual members. Two well-known functionalists who have written about the family are George. P. Murdock and Talcott. George Murdock (1949) has carried out a study involving 250 families. From his analysis, he has argued that the family performs four basic functions for its individual members and society at large. He has referred to these as the ?sexual', ?reproductive', ?economic' and ?educational' functions. The family provides the society with new members and assume responsibility for raising them. Talcott Parsons (1959) has also written about the functions of the family. He has identified two functions that he perceives as being ?basic and irreducible'. These functions are: The primary socialisation of children; The stabilisation of adult personalities of the population of the society. While Marxists perspective comes from Frederick Engel, which it stressed on the patriarchal structure of families. Basically the Marxism suggested males are the dominant of the whole family. The socialisation in the Marxist view is that the family socialise children into accepting values of capitalism, which to be clear with the status/level within hierarchy. The bourgeois nuclear family emerged with capitalism, this leads to the patriarchal power of male to be dominating the inheritance property. Women, on the opposite side, would be powerless for any decisions to be made within the family but only to obey. Sociology, david spurling 2010 chapter 1page 2 ...read more.

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