• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the similarities and differences between conflict of Marxist theories and functionalist theories in sociology.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Dee-Anne Dottin Sociology Ms. Gibbs Question: Discuss the similarities and differences between conflict of Marxist theories and functionalist theories in sociology. 25 marks Although sociology is a recently developed field of study, the advancement of the study is progressing rapidly. Sociological theories are ways sociologists explain society and its mega structure. The structural conflict and structural consensus theories are inevitable chapters of sociology. With some similarities, these two theories have different ideologies and ways of explaining the society. Both theories view society as a system of social structures and both agree that these social structures exist within a society. However, the two theories differ greatly in their opinion on the purpose of these structures. Functionalism views the system of social structures as entities that work together for the benefit of all, but Marxism believes the system of social structures are in place but vary in their benefits depending on the wealth and power of the people involved. involved. Functionalism, the structural consensus sociological theory is a key theory that was developed by Emile Durkheim, one of the founding fathers of sociology. This theory sees society as a mega structure of inter-related social institutions such as schools and the legal system that is in constant consensus. ...read more.

Middle

The main ideologies of the structural consensus and structural conflict theory stand parallel to each other and can never come to an agreeing point. One of Functionalism?s key concepts is the collective conscience brought up by Emile Durkheim, which is defined as shared norms and valued in a society. Functionalists believe that collective conscious comes from socialization. Individuals learn what are the society?s expectations, values and norms from interacting with others. In contrast, Marxism spoke on the conflict of interest within the society itself. The bourgeoisie wants monopolization and more riches to themselves which will result in the tyrant exploitation of proletariats while the proletariats want more wages and fair working hours. To sum up, Functionalism spoke on how all individuals in society is in consensus with the social order and social rules whereas Marxism touches on the subject of how conflict is within the society. Another key concept in Functionalism and Marxism can be compared which is the theory of social equilibrium by Talcott Parsons and the theory of dialectical materialism by Joseph Dietzgen. In sociology, a system is said to be social equilibrium when there is a dynamic working balance among its interdependent parts. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both Marxism and Functionalism theories are macrospective. This means that the two theories look at society as a whole rather than looking at it from the individual point of view. Both Marxism and Functionalism look at the structures within a society such as family and education, and debate how these affect the individual instead of how the individual affects the structures. Similarly, both theories look at the overall structure of society and argue that education prepares pupils for their position in society whether it is an equal or unequal position. Seeing that these two theories are macro theories but the ideologies are a big contrast. Functionalism helps us understand how society is integrated to function as a whole. Marxism wakes us and gets us to understand more on the exploitations we are exposed to. Functionalism and Marxism are sociological perspectives that ask, and state, certain theories about society and the people that live within it. The two theories attempt to explain how society influences people, and similarly how people influence society. However, the two ideologies are distinctly different. They're so different in fact that only two similarities exist between the two theories.Without functionalism and Marxism, sociology would be very inadequate. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Evaluation of Functionalism and Marxism

    who own and control the means of production, and on the other side you have the subject class (or the proletariat)

  2. Can and should sociology be a science?

    Interpretivists believes that sociology must produce interpretive understanding in-depth methods. The fact that sociology should not be a science is strengthen by Thomas Khun's concept of ideological paradigm. This is a fixed or set of belief that most of the community believes that is true and therefore interprets all scientific findings from that viewpoint.

  1. Sociological theories and Healthcare.

    the proletariat, this is because the proletariats may work long hours and earn a poor wage, as for the bourgeois may work long hours and will earn a descent wage and become richer, more powerful and may pocket some of their own wage.

  2. Difference and similarities between 2 societies - China and the UK

    These inequalities happens from the actions of labor markets and the unequal distribution of wealth-property.9 A report by the Office for National Statistics includes evidence of the increase of social inequality in Britain over the last few decades. In the 1970s, the incomes of the richest 10 percent were three times higher than the poorest 10 percent.

  1. Religion is more a cause of conflict than of harmony in society(TM)

    The conflict began many years ago as a minority of Catholics that lived in Ireland were being politically marginalized by the Protestants. This 'problem' has lead to brutal violence and the loss of many lives over a long period of time.

  2. essay question sociology - education

    So, according to the Functionalists education is based on merit, as everyone in the school is given an equal opportunity to show their ability by appearing for exams, each person is given a chance to show their talent, skill and hardwork,those who succeed are rewarded those who do not know

  1. Compare and contrast two sociological theories

    Functionalism and Marxism both see that human behaviour is directed by an external force. ?Functional prerequisite? (basic needs e.g. food, water, shelter) for functionalism and economic for Marxism. These two theories also view society as a system of social structures and both agree that these social structures exist within a society.

  2. Compare and contrast any two major theoretical perspectives in Sociology.

    This view argues that the establishment of a contractual basis of rights would lead to the market mechanism and capitalism. However all of these are viewed from different perspectives such as functionalism, Marxism, interactionism and post modernism. Whilst both have some similarities they are in fact very different as functionalism is based on Consensus when Marxism is based on conflict.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work