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Structural and Action theories

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Structural and Action theories Here I shall compare and contrast Structural and Action theories, using knowledge gained from my introduction into Sociology. I will be discussing the differences between such theories. Also I will focus within structural theory and outline the differences between consensus and conflict. Structural theory is looked at on a macro-level. Where the society is observed as a whole system in which behaviour is influenced by the structure of society. Norms and values are adopted by people where the inherited beliefs and behaviour patterns are learnt. Structural-Consensus Theory believes that all members within the society are in agreement. This allows them to learn and pass-on norms and behaviour to generations to come, continuing a stable solidarity to which people are accustomed. Behaviour patterns are learnt. This means that members of the society will unconsciously act in certain situations in a particular manner, which has been learnt because it is seen as appropriate. The norms and values are agreed which allows the society to survive. Certain values such as core values are recognised by everyone in a society, they all act in the same way in the situation because it is appropriate and it has been learnt through inherited generations. Other values may be specific to small societies which are made up from some people in the whole society. ...read more.


These are adopted by action theorists which I will write about later. Functionalism thinks of society like an organism. The human body works because of its interdependent organs, if one fails ill-health or death is the result. This is how people who follow functionalism think about society. It is a system in which members play a role in order to provide a social solidarity. Marxism takes more of a conflict view of Structural theory. His belief of individual fulfilment being dependent on the economy follows the same thoughts of classes in conflict theory. Marxist saw there to be two classes: The dominant class who are people owning production, and the Subordinate class who are those involved with production, but however, have no wealth/surplus from it because they do not own it. Action theory or otherwise called interpreted theory looks at society it a micro-level. It believes that the society and its culture and norms are accomplished by numerous interactions between members in society. They think that actions of people are intentional and conscious and they have the right to choose how to react to a particular action from another member in the society. The interpretations which a person will infer from a particular action by another are a result of how they are given off. ...read more.


In contrast the small population who did know the man will be affected severely because they knew him. He would have been a part of their system which needs all parts/members to work in order to survive. This may cause a breakdown within the small society who knew the man, as they would have lost a part within their social system. I cannot relate to the idea of norms and values being learnt due to inherited beliefs etc. Something can only be learnt if there is sufficient amount of information provided. Which is why I believe in the nurture aspect of nature versus nurture. Although it is true that some things are occur naturally without any aspect of nurture to help. However things such as values and norms are ever changing and forming. This is due to the culture and socialisation which people are accustomed to throughout their lives. I can relate to the action theory's beliefs about interpretations people have of others making an influence on their actions because I myself change my behaviour in different situations. For example: If I saw someone sleeping I would deliberately try to calm my behaviour and try to be as quiet as possible so that I didn't wake them up. This would be a complete turn around on my usual behaviour as I am usually talkative and outgoing. ?? ?? ?? ?? Annabel Bradford 12BSO Mrs Cochrane ...read more.

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