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

With reference to sociological theories and concepts, assess the view that the main feature of society is consensus.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Shawda Aziz Wednesday, 2 October 2013 With reference to sociological theories and concepts, assess the view that the main feature of society is consensus. This is a classic debate in sociology. In this essay I will analyze the theories and concepts that relate to this question. The theory of functionalism assumes that a certain degree of order and stability is vital for the continued existence of social systems. Without it, society may be exposed to anomie and chaos. An example of this is the London riots, violence, theft and other criminal actions became uncontrolled due to the state of disorder and lawlessness. Consequently, social order is necessary for society to function in harmony. Value consensus is on agreement about values of members of society, referring to the norms and values, which provides a concrete foundation for collaboration, as common values create common goals. Functionalists believe that social order exists in the concept of consensus to a large extent. They claim that without shared values and beliefs, achieving social order is impossible & social order is essential in the well-being of society. ...read more.

Middle

Shared values are merely a mask hiding the views of the ruling class. This false consciousness consequences in the fact that the working class does not acknowledge their exploitation and do not revolt as a result. Marxists believe that due to this, capitalism remains; social reproduction takes place leaving the rich richer and poor poorer. Conflict theories, such as Marxism, see Functionalism as a conservative theory that emphasise the status quo. The key focus is on harmony and consensus rather than conflict. Marxists argue that this theory legitimates the privileged position of the ruling class or groups of authority who have the most to lose from any revolutionary changes in society. To conclude on the theory of Marxism, it portrays a strong emphasis on society being in conflict. It proposes the importance of power and inequality and ideology as a means of social control, both suggesting that society is not how Functionalism views it. It challenges the principles of Functionalism by questioning the ignoring of conflict and disagreement and how it avoids the active nature of a human being. A further theory that suggests that society is in fact not in consensus, but conflict, is Feminism. ...read more.

Conclusion

These services involve keeping the breadwinner in best of health and fitness, along with keeping them in the best of moods through satisfying his needs. Subsequently, they are expectant to rear children and socialize them by teaching the norms and values of society as they will be the next generation of workers. This ultimately shows society is not consensus because it advocates that society is split into class and gender and treatment towards certain groups are unequal and purely based on how they can provide for society. Finally, to conclude, on a whole, sociological theories are in argument if a society is either completely consensus or conflict based. Some theories believe it is consensus, while others put emphasis on conflict. One of these is the major theory of Functionalism which applies a positive and noncritical view upon society, which could be described as wearing rose-tinted glasses. However, this theory contrasts vastly with other theories which are conflict based in their entirety. For instance, Marxism emphasizes that society does not provide equality for every type of person, especially depending on class. A further example is the Feminist theory which stress the patriarchal influence upon society, for instance Radical feminists take great emphasis on patriarchal ideology. ~ ~ ...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. Peer reviewed

    Produce an essay identifying the different sociological approaches to secularisation with reference to Marxism, ...

    4 star(s)

    Marx did not see that industrial capitalism as such would messenger the decline of religion, but he did believe it would put in motion a chain of events that would eventually lead to its disappearance (Marx and Engles, 1950a).

  2. Outline and Assess Whether stratification is either inevitable or beneficial to individuals and society?

    The ruling class use superstructure's such as the legal and political systems to make sure they keep power and to prevent the working class from protesting. This basic stratifications system between the owners of capital and the workers which create the major conflicts.

  1. Critically assess the view that social stratification benefits the powerful groups in society

    This benefit was far from generous as it was calculated, for a married couple in 1989, at 54% of the state pension for an equivalent couple (Haralambos & Holborn, 1995), which effectively amounted to �84 per week (Weir, 1994). Moreover, although state pensions were increased in line with inflation it

  2. Sociological theories and Healthcare.

    The thoughts that were given by the groups about how we live our lives - the way we socialize are actually the principles that the bourgeoisie wants our society to live by however this is like brain washing us and the Marxist calls this socialization of the bourgeoisie principle as the ruling class ideology.

  1. Assess the claim that the main function of education is to maintain a value ...

    Education encourages social solidarity through several ways. E.g. in History, pupils learn that they share a heritage - (they are from Britain and the British fought for the country in 2 World Wars). Furthermore, citizenship tries to encourage community spirit, emphasising certain norms and values that should bring people together.

  2. Outline and Assess the Usefulness of Conflict Theories in Explaining Social Class Inequalities in ...

    the superstructure, the institutions with society such as the mass media and education. Neo-Marxism states that that the superstructure transmits the ruling class ideology, which ensures that the working class hold a false class-consciousness. This prevents them from realising their situation and revolting.

  1. Sociological Theories

    Marxism was found by the philosophers Karl Marx (1818 - 1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820 - 1895). This theory was produced under a promise to provide answers that functionalism couldn't. Functionalism was not a dominant theoretical perspective until the 1940s to 1950s.

  2. Compare and contrast two sociological theories

    and the both claim the statues of science. Whilst there are some similarities, both are diametrically opposed in their interpretation of the social system. Functionalism is based on Consensus, which takes its starting point from the assumption that society

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