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Sociological Perspectives

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Sonia Pestana

on 11 November 2013

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Transcript of Sociological Perspectives

Sociological Perspectives.
What is Functionalism?
The Functionalist approach to sociology is similar to the human body as many individuals find it an easier way to understand the approach.
Its role is to make sure that the society is running right. Different institutions all work together, all having a specific role in society.
They use a method of social control to handle with misunderstood individuals and groups.
Functionalism : Talcott Parsons (1902 - 1979)
Parson saw society as a system made up of interrelated institutions.
His views on institutions was to socialise individuals and ensure that the knew and was aware of the acceptable behaviour and understood the underlying values of their society.
George Murdock
(1897-1985)
During 1949, he done a study of family, he looked into and examined over 250 societies. These societies was all varied from many differences such as small crowded communities to large industrialised societies. In all of them, he discovered and found that they all contained some form of family.
Murdock saw that within these societies, the families had four functions. He stated the four functions as followed:
The sexual function - this is where the expression of sexuality in an approved context happens.
The reproductive function - rearing of children stability happens.
Socialisation - the responsibility of raising a child. So teaching children the appropriate and acceptable ways of behaving in society.
The economic function - this is food, shelter and financial security had to be provided into the family.

Marxism
Marxism approach is a structuralist model, it is also known as the conflict model.
Karl Marx (1818 - 1883) was who first developed the approach. He thought that an individual behaviour was influenced by society but believed that society and individuals place within was defined by the economic system.
In his industrial time of society, he had a view of society with two social classes:
The bourgeoisie - they was the ones who owned factories, institutions and other employment places.
The proletariat - these was employed by the bourgeoisie's to work for them in the companies and places of work.
He had views that these two different classes would always be in conflict with one and other. This was because the bourgeoisie's would want higher profit and the proletariat would want higher wages, which would effect the the bourgeoisie's profit. This is the reason the Marxism approach is also known as the conflict model. He believed that someday this conflict would finally lead into revolution.

Parsons (1951)
Parsons disagreed with Murdock, he wrote about American society, where he believed that family had two 'basic and irreducible functions'.
These are:
The primary socialisation of children.
The stabilisation of adult personalities in a complex, stressful and demanding world the family provides warmth and emotional security, especially, as Parsons saw it, for the male breadwinner.
Strengths
Functionalism is consider to have society under control.
Different institutions are there to provide help.
Weakness
It is outdated.
It only focuses on families that are nuclear.
See's everyone in society with same beliefs and values.
Strengths
Looks at society as a whole and not individually.
Weakness
There will always be a conflict.
There is no equal rights between the bourgeoisie's and the proletariat. As the bourgeoisie's have more power in social institutions.
Feminism
The Feminists approach is seen as a conflict approach. Pamela Abbott and Claire Wallace (1997) summarised feminist criticisms and concerns of mainstream or malestream sociology. They found that the male dominance is biased and that women being unequal in society had=s no been paid attention to. Malestream sociology (the male view in society) Vs Mainstream sociology (the society overall).
There three types of feminist:
Marxist Feminism - capitalism and men see women as oppressed, working-class women especially. Females produce and prepare the individuals for the next generation of workers. This is because females meet physical, social and emotional needs that children have so that they will be prepared to work for companies in the future. The do all the house duties from cooking to cleaning to taking care of the children; they do all this for no pay.
Radical feminism - Dominated by men. Seen ass a patriarchal institution. women are seen as a housewife and mothers in a form of oppression and nothing else. This is for nuclear families.
Liberal feminism - Since changes towards attitudes and legislation have been made, that changes have been taken place and that more equality has been taken. Believe that further changes and improvements will take place.
Interactionism
A social Action approach which contrasts with the structuralist perspective. Their focus was on the small groups and their effects in society such as influences on individuals behaviour and how the society is shaped. They studied the dynamics in small groups such as hospital wards, school classrooms or GP services. This is because they diverse from children, teenage gangs, visitors , workers and service users. Every individual have their own to how they behave and who they become, even if we are influenced by socialisation process.
They have a minor interest in social structure.
Interactionism - family :
There is no blueprint or rules about being a family. As long as all needs are fulfilled thats all thats needed. All mothers have a clear view on what is expected from a mother.
Postmodernism
Postmodernism focuses on the changes in society and the uncertainly which is in our society. They believe that approaches such as functionalist and marxist are no help in helping understand the society as there is always frequent changes. Many individuals, families and groups now choose and decide their own way of lifestyle.
Collectivism
This appoarch provides individuals with health and social care services. They are funded through out taxation and National insurance to provide care for vulnerable individuals. This is all supported through the government commitment. They meet identified areas of welfare needs . The society has many potentially vulnerable individuals starting from babies to elderly to individuals with physical inpatients.
Weakness
Tax taken from working individuals wages.
Strengths
Doesn't use the outdated approaches.
Family choose their own lifestyles.
Weakness
Looks at society as a whole and doesn't look into the individual side.
Strengths
Looks into individuals free will, the choices they make and their behaviour.
Weakness
Does not study where the social roles come from.
Pays attention to power in society.
Strengths
Shows the large group of females that would like an equal right t0 males.
Brings more power towards women.
Weakness
Will make society look at society in a different way.
Many feminist can be seen as liberal.
Strengths
Vulnerable people will have support.
Health an Social Care are not at high costs.
The New Right
Over generations the post war collectivist approach to welfare has remained and never been taken seriously until the election of Margaret Thatcher's conservation government in 1970. They believed that families and individuals should be seen as the main responsibility to welfare.
Strengths
Helps vulnerable.
Supports welfare.
Weakness
Was never taken seriously before.
Sociological approaches to health and social care.
Functionalism
Marxism
Feminism
Interactionism
Derives from the work of Talcott Parsons.
He stated that you needed to be healthy for society to function properly otherwise society wouldn't.
The sick role - social role of sick members.
There was specific rights an responsibilities with the sick role, if you claimed to be ill.
The right associated withe the sick role were:
To be exempt form normal social obligations, for example to go to school, college, or work.
To be cared for.
The responsibilities of the sick role included the individual:
Taking all reasonable steps to get better and seeking to resume their normal place in society as soon as possible.
Co operating with medical professionals such as doctors.
Illness comes with social consequences.


Believed that health and social care service was provided to those who were from more powerful dominant classes.
See's health levels and risk of illness being linked to the differences of the social classes. Whereas functionalist see's it as accruing naturally and randomly.
They see the bourgeoisie's to be more healthier as they have more money and own big facilities and companies whereas the Proletariat worked for them therefore not having much money and there risks of being ill higher.
Theoretical approach that looks the most into health and illnesses issues.
Concerns with : The processes that lead an individual to claim themselves as ill.
Each individual varies to what they call ill and whether further professional help is needed.
The professional and the patient decided on how ill the patient is.
Internationalism study's the relationship between the individual such as family, friends, and the link with the professional sector.
Focus on male domination in medical professions and the impact it has on women.
Pregnancy and childbirth is a main concern because of the way it is seen as a medical issue or sometimes an illness instead of the fact of it being a natural process.
Feminists see's the reason to depression, mental health and anxiety being a result to the position they hold in society and especially the family.
These issues are looked into as a medical problem and medicines are their solution whereas they do not see the actual fact of the women's day to day circumstances might be the effect to this.
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