Unit of teaching kids how to behave appropriately in

Unit 7: sociological perspectives  


P1: In this section I will be explaining the principal
sociological perspectives. 

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Sociology is the study of human social relationships and
institutions. Sociology investigates the social causes and consequences of things
such as love, racial and gender identity, family conflict, deviant behaviour,
aging, religion and faith. Sociologists emphasize the careful gathering and
analysis of evidence about social life to develop and enrich our understanding
of key social process. The research methods and theories of sociology yield
powerful insights into the social process shaping human lives and social
problems and prospects in the contemporary world. Sociology offers a
distinctive and enlightening way of seeing and understanding the social world
in which we live in and has an impact on our lives.  


Functionalism emphasizes that as general rule, society is based on
agreement. “It also examines how different a societal institution in society
work together to ensure that members of society get things they need” (Anon, 2018). This
is often referred to as a structural theory as it sees society being linked
together, which meant that they saw society working well together. The
functionalist method to sociology can be better understood by referring to
society as the human body, just like our bodies have major organs and mechanism
so that we are able to deal with illnesses the different institutions that
there are in society all contribute so that society works together well. They
work together so that society runs smoothly, they also believe that our
behaviour is predetermined as a result of the socialisation process and a small
portion of our behaviour is bases on our personal choices. They believe that we
are programmed to behave in certain way. However, functionalist don’t provide
an explanation of negative behaviour such as criminal activity and abuse which
causes a threat to society.


Talcott Parson played a significant role in the development
of functionalism. “He supported a structural-functional analysis, an
investigation of the manners by which the interrelated and communicating units
that shape the structures of a social system, add to the improvement and upkeep
of that system” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2018). He saw important
institutions such as religious organisations, the education system and peer
groups working alongside each other to spread their shared norms and value to
the new generation which would allow continuity and stability in society. He viewed the society working as
a system, being made up of different institutions which all had a role in order
for society to run smoothly. He saw the functions of families in modern
societies in terms of socializing children as well as supplying psychological
stability for adults. “George Murdock
was an American anthropologist who specialized in social theory” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2018). He claimed that families had four functions in society which were; the sexual
function which allowed the expression of sexuality in accepted environments, the reproductive functions which delivered
stability for the upbringing of children, socialisation which entailed the obligation of teaching kids how to
behave appropriately in society as well as the economic function which
consisted of food, shelter and financial security for family members.  “Auguste Comte was a philosopher who established sociology, he trusted in positivism
which is the indication that only scientific truth is the real truth” (Study.com,
2018). He said that just as our body parts work together in harmony social institutions all
work together and contribute to the society we live in.

Functionalists see the family as a vital
organ in maintaining the body of society which is done through primary socialisation and this takes place
for most of us within a family and this could be your birth family, a family of
adoption or a foster family. In
functionalist think that family is a particularly important institution as it
is a significant element of society as it presents the vital functions of
socialising with children and making sure they cater to their family member’s
needs. Murdock and Parson show how well families work together but they fail to
show the conflict that goes on such as violence and abuse that would go on
within the family. Functionalist also do not display that woman suffer from
sexual division of labour, while the women are caring for their children the
men are carrying out extra responsibilities. There are no explanations for the functionalist’s outlook of separation
of roles into male being the breadwinner and the female taking care of their
children and doing house work. These roles lead to the disadvantages being
experienced by women.


The advantages of functionalism are that it
explains how society works together, this is one of the most influential theory
up to the 1950’s and is particularly effective at analysing how different parts
of society work alongside each other to cater for its member’s needs. Another
advantage is that its emphasises the importance of consensus which is having a
general agreement, it also shows how society tends to operate more better when
people are able to decide and work together. However, there are disadvantages
of functionalism such as how it fails to explain conflict, functionalists
mostly show how well different institutions work together so keep a constant in
society but they do not talk about the negative behaviour that goes on. They
ignore that there may be institutions which are dysfunctional that exist,
Durkheim argues that crime was functional up to a point as when criminals receive
punishment for their actions it reminds everyone of shared values and norms.
Although many would disagree and say that crime as a whole is dysfunctional and
only appears as societies is characterises by conflict and unfairness.


is a structural and conflict model; they also have a structuralist
outlook. They see families contributing to a stable social system and would regard
the servant of the capitalist system. “A sociological perspective first
associated with Karl Marx which sees the institutions of society as organised
to meet the interests of the ruling classes.” (Anon, 2018). In Marxist theory the bourgeoisie are the superior
social class who have much power, they own businesses etc and are able to
organise the economy as well as other significant social institutions to their
own benefit. Marx refers to the rich capitalist as the bourgeoisie and the
exploited working class as the proletariat, they have only their labour to sell
and work for the bourgeoisie. Marxists argue that the bourgeoisie hold power in
other social institutions as well as having an impact on society as they
control legal systems and influence curriculums in school. They also see that
families provide a stable home and are ready to make a large profit for their


“Karl Marx was a German writer and political
revolutionary who had an impact on conflict theories in sociology” (Bbc.co.uk, 2018). He
argues that all societies excluding simple hunting and gathering societies are
based on social divisions between those who gain from economic systems as well
as those that don’t. he held the view that in industrial societies during his
time there were two social classes which were; the bourgeoisie/capitalist who
were the smaller superior group that owned places of employment. The proletariat
who are a much larger group but were poorer and were at the hands of bourgeoisie
group who were their employers. Marx though that conflict would lead to revolution
as there was an unequal bond between the bourgeoisie group and the proletariat
group and conflict was essential in the economic system. Louis Althusser argues
that capitalist societies have survived not just by driving labourers to
acknowledge the system yet by creating ideological state apparatuses which
gives ideas that legitimate or justify the capitalist systems and its class
inequalities. Ideological state apparatuses included the education system, mass
media, families and religious organisations.  Friedrich Engels was a German philosopher, he founded
Marxist theory alongside Karl Marx. Marx and Engels argues that in the event
that you are to comprehend human history you should not consider it to be the
story of great individuals or the conflict between states. Rather, you should
consider it to be the narrative of social classes and their battles with each
other. Marx and Engels clarified that social classes had changed after some
time however in the nineteenth century the most essential classes were the
bourgeoisie and the proletariat.


Marxists see the family as a worker of the
capitalist bourgeoisie system. Marxists likewise take a look at the darker side
of the family such as; aggressive behaviour at home and child abuse. Believe
that the family reproduces social inequality from one generation to the next.
Marxists trust that the family, as a social establishment, isn’t worried about
building a value consensus, yet with showing its individuals to submit to the
values and beliefs of the capitalists. Nuclear families perform ideologies for
capitalism, they think that nuclear families are dominant in bourgeoisie
societies. Families work for income and buy necessities from capitalist manufacturers
and capillaries make income from this.


advantages of Marxism are that it’s very influential, this theory has become
the most effective approach to sociology from the 1960’s onwards and Marx’s
ideas have been understood in many different ways by different sociologist
group. Ideas that stem from Marxism could debatably interpret the existence of
sociologist policies such as the NHS. Another advantage of Marxism is that this
theory analyses power and conflict in society as well as explaining as to why
there is uneven distribution of authority and wealth between social classes. Also
it explains inequality, it shows a more critical view on capitalist society
compared to theories such as functionalism. The disadvantages of Marxism are
that it overlooks ideas which may have an impact on behaviour. It has more of
focus on class conflict whereas issues which affect behaviour such as gender or
race are not given attention.


“Feminism is the concept of the political, economic, and social
equality of both genders” (Merriam-webster.com, 2018). Feminism is a conflict theory, both men and women are in conflict with
each other. Feminists have fought for many changes for women, some of them have
campaigned for changes within law and social policies, voting rights which
women are now allowed to vote and have changed the way boys and girls are
socialised based on their sex. Some feminists adapt a more radical approach so
that they can overturn patriarchy structures that disadvantage women. Feminist argue
that in most societies men have more of an advantage in comparison to women. Key
institutions such as businesses, political institutions are controlled by men
as well as having a more dominant role in personal relationships, family and
intimate relationships. Which implies that society is based on a struggle
between men and women, inequality and disagreement. Feminism has had a huge
impact on many people’s lives for the better, it had opened up many opportunities.


There are four main types of feminism; Liberal
feminists believe that the main cause of gender inequality are ignorance and
socialisation, they don’t believe social institutions are inherently patriarchal.
They also believe that men and women are becoming more equal as time goes by.
Liberal feminists point to various legal reforms which promote sexual equality
such as the sex discrimination act 1970. “This act of the parliament of the United Kingdom
which protected men and women from discrimination on the grounds of sex or marital status” (Legislation.gov.uk,
2018). The fact that girls now outperform boys in education, there are
also now amounts of men and women who are now paid equally in work. Radical feminists
see society as well as its situations as patriarchal dominated and rules by
men. They view the oppression of women as the most fundamental form of oppression,
one that cuts across boundaries of race, culture and economic class. They are mostly
concerned with rape, violence and pornography which they view as techniques
through which men have secures and sustained authority over females. Some radical
feminists go as far as claiming to be homosexual as they think that by engaging
in a heterosexual relationship would be like sleeping with the enemy which
makes them think that by doing this they are free from tyranny and patriarchy. Marxist
feminists ignore gender equality; marxist feminists attempt to combine the two approaches.
They see that women are exploited by capitalism ad patriarchy for example,
women produce the labour force free through their unpaid domestic labour, by producing
children and socialising the next generation of workers. This benefits both men
and women who don’t have to do unpaid work and capitalism which has an endless
supply of future workers. Intersectional feminists are interested in ways which
other identities interact and overlap with gender. “Intersectional feminists
deals with women of colour experience abusive behaviour and rape in a way
subjectively not the same as the ways that white women encounter them” (En.wikipedia.org,
2018). This includes groups such as black feminist all who agree that we
can’t comprehend that without gendered relationships without understanding
class, age, ethnicity, disability, nationality or sexuality.


feminists argue the main cause of women’s oppression in the family is not men,
but capitalism. They argue that women’s oppression performs several functions
for Capitalism. If women’s primary role is domestic and they are confined from
working, this suggests that they’re available later to be gone up against
briefly as fundamental by the Bourgeoisie as well as making generation more
adaptable. Feminists have been focal in condemning gender roles related with
the traditional nuclear family, particularly since the 1950s. They have
contended the traditional nuclear has customarily performed two key capacities
which oppressed women such as socialising girls to accept submissive roles
in their family, whilst socialising boys to believe they were much superior.


An advantages
of feminism is that it emphasises inequality, it has played a huge role in challenging
many of the dominant assumptions about society made by traditional sociologists
theories such as functionalism. It also shows the negative side of family life
such as violence, child abuse and other forms of inequalities between men and