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

In undertaking an accurate interpretation of three sociological perspectives, I will make a reasoned evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses in Marxism, Functionalism and Feminism.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES MARXISM, FUNCTIONALISM & FEMINISM... INTRODUCTION A sociological theory is a set of ideas that provide an explanation for human society. In undertaking an accurate interpretation of three sociological perspectives, I will make a reasoned evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses in Marxism, Functionalism and Feminism. From the three chosen sociological perspectives I will also look at their individual views on religion and the family. SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES MARXISM Marxism named after its founder Karl Marx (1818 - 1883) is very famous and influential. Marx regarded people as both producers and the products of society, he believed since people made society, only they can change it. He argued that 'man makes his own history'. Marx believed that the rich would get richer (bourgeois - ruling class) and that the poor would get poorer (proletariat - subordinate /working class). He proposed that the proletariat would revolt in anger, leading to a revolution, resulting in the disappearance of the social class system and that people would live in a more equal society. Max Weber (1864 - 1920) agreed with Marx, however he also stressed the importance of status and power (i.e. an individual may be poor but have high status, such as a teacher). His views on religion differed to that of Marx too, arguing that it could be a source of conflict and change rather than a source of stability or social control. ...read more.

Middle

There is a lot of disagreement among sociologists about the roles of religion and the family within society; we will look at three sociological perspectives: RELIGION MARXISM In Marx's view, 'Man makes religion, religion does not make man'. In other words, religion is the self-conscious and the self-feeling of man who has either not found himself or has already lost himself again. 'Truly liberated individuals have no need of religion'. Thus, if the alienation and exploitation associated with the classes are eradicated, and people are freed to develop their human potential and find themselves, as in a truly socialist society, religion will no longer be needed and will cease to exist. Marx and Engels believed that religion represented a protest against a dehumanising social world and human alienation, it also leads people into false hopes and direction, along with the 'solutions' it promises that are illusory. It obscures and distorts the true nature of reality in ways that benefit the ruling class. Marx anticipated that when a classless society was established, religion would disappear. FUNCTIONALISM Whereas Durkheim sees religion as an expression and celebration of people's sociality. Religion creates order and stability in society; it can be an agent of socialization and create a sense of social solidarity. Malinowski accepted like Durkheim that religion creates social solidarity but he believed that religion is a response to peoples needs during stress (e.g. birth and death). ...read more.

Conclusion

The Functionalist perspective of belief systems and religion does not vindicate for the dysfunctional aspects that the unruly force of religion can manifest (i.e. war in the name of 'Religion'). The subject of the family and how it is defined is extremely difficult to determine. Marxists position asserts that the nuclear family is not universal but a product of capitalism and that the family is an exploitive institution, and that it was the simplest solution for insuring legitimacy of proposed heirs. Whereby Functionalism is a strong supporter of the family, believing it to be the 'cornerstone' of society. Feminists' criticise the family as the focus on the exploitation of women by men, they argue that men dominate family relationships. CONCLUSION Everyone has their own view of what religion and the family consists of. These pre conceived ideas are mostly to do with our own backgrounds, culture and life experiences. I find it difficult to subscribe to one theory over another as Functionalist, Marxist and Feminist theories can be interpreted in many different ways. Consequently each theory's perspective will work for their interpretation of religion, the family and society. The three theories are not too dissimilar to the three main Political Parties (Labour, Conservative and Liberal) in Britain; each has it's own agenda, but are all are equally as devious! I am more inclined to opt for the Feminist and Marxist theories as they seem more plausible and are more comparative to past history and present day findings. I also believe that as societies cultures change through time, so will our definition of family, religion and society. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology 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 GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Different Sociological Perspectives on Crime

    It also ignores behaviour not legally defined as crime. Strengths to this perspective include: It gives us a good guide to what counts as crime and suggests why crime is always present in society and why it is needed and how we can not always conform. It also sees a connection between events and the structure to society.

  2. This essay will compare two different sociological perspectives Marxism and Functionalism through society and ...

    The educational system comes through schools where the members are likely to be taught by the tutors and also learn from friends. In order of all parts working together smoothly and efficiently the society is shaped and maintained by common sense and common values (like democracy, equality, opportunities, Christian moral values etc.)

  1. The Fundamental Differences Between Functionalism, Marxism and Social Action Theory.

    Things we are taught as children, that we go on to instil in our own children. Functionalists see conflict and disagreement as minor disturbances within society. They seem to be of the school of thought that sees that the different groups within society will always have minor disagreements, as we all have different interests and needs.

  2. What are the basic elements of Feminism? What are the differences between liberal and ...

    But because liberalism evolved in a context in which the private sphere of the family was excluded from political demands for equality, in which traditional social arguments remained strong, and in which the Church upheld women's subordinate role in the family, liberal feminism developed.

  1. Outline Some Of The Key Tenets Of The Functionalist, Marxist and Interactionist Theories Of ...

    and behave well and not just as a take over form the family once the child is at school. For Marxists, education is apart of the superstructure of society. The superstructure is regarded as being ultimately subordinate to the base the economic organisation of society.

  2. Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research.

    very weakly in support of the covered option.4 The prime role of survey research in local government is to provide knowledge to decision-making so that decisions are more informed. But merely reporting that 55% of respondents are not in favour of something is 'reportage' not explanation or evaluation.5 In theory,

  1. Discuss the key concepts within, and state the similarities and differences between, the following ...

    Marxism, like functionalism, can be regarded as a macro theory. Interested in structure based on inequality and oppression, therefore this approach is often described as a structural conflict theory. [Structural Conflict Theory, October 3, 2006] It begins on the basis that humans must produce food and material goods in order to survive.

  2. A-Level Sociology Theory + Methods Revision.

    This has been employed from the more Interpretivist side i.e. Ethnomethodology - people's commonsense methods + conventions for carrying out social life. * Aim = to cut across normal life to uncover these implicit rules.

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