Sociology discussion response 1 | sociology | Houston Community College

 Kindly read and respond to the two discussions below, respond with 100 or more words each  


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1. In my perspective, Functionalism is the way society is and how we can all benefit from one another to coexist and thrive, “seeing society as a living organism”, while Conflict Theory seems to be the results of certain interactions within smaller groups, leading to a larger group (Interactionalism)  and how that collective is seen as society institutions like family,  government, education, religion, media. All the concepts are seen to be  collective intertwined within another, as if each concept is dependent  upon another to thrive, understand, and exploring the various effects  upon citizens. The example of the “helicopter in the sky” for Interactionalism  helped me better understand the concept itself. Observing how a smaller  collective interacts and then noticing how those interactions come into  play within society as a whole is an overall perfect example of the  concept itself. 

 The most useful concept from the major sociological perspectives would be Interactionalism.  Beings thrive on interaction, especially physical as a basic need to  survive – socially. With the personal experiences I have encountered,  the way an individual interacts within a small group will grossly  dictate and determine their actions moving forward. Think about how  children are raised within the home and how the interactions within  their family members not only shapes them as whole person but how they  interact and treat others, to their beliefs and understandings, to how  education and government is seen through their perspectives, and how the  individual fits into the living organism known as society. The pillar  of the foundation of sociology and what is shown to be the most  effective is human interaction. As a college graduate, the specific  interactions made with certain individuals helped elevate or descend the  social ladder within the realm of networking. As the phrase states,  “it’s not always what you know, but who you know”.

2. The functionalist and conflict perspectives address a much bigger  picture than the interactionist perspective. The interactionist  perspective places importance on the everyday interactions between  individuals and their environments or each other, applying what is  observed in those interactions to understand social behavior. The  functionalist and conflict perspectives look at the big picture and how  humans act as large groups, often relating that back to the behavior of  individuals and what to do as an individual. The main difference between  the conflict and functionalist perspective is their view on social  change. The functionalist perspective often argues that, for better or  for worse, any given aspect of society exists because it serves a  function that ensures the survival of that society. Therefore, it is a  fruitless effort to advocate for drastic and sudden societal change. Any  societal change will come naturally as a society sheds aspects of it  that are no longer contributing to its stability. A good analogy to  understand the functionalist perspective is in section 1.3 of chapter  one of the third edition of the Openstax online textbook. It compares  each aspect of society to “[h]ow each organ works to keep your body  healthy (or not).” (Openstax 1.3) The  conflict perspective argues that the natural state of society is  inequality, oppression, and class conflict. Therefore, sudden social  change is necessary to achieve an ideal society because it disrupts the  natural state of society.

One example of the functionalist perspective is observing education  as an aspect of society that contributes to the stability of a society.  The government pays for public education, and public education increases  the affluence of individuals, which leads to more taxes for the  government. The stability of the society is upheld because the  government gains financial stability and the people reap the benefits of  an education.

I think that the conflict and functionalist perspectives are the  most useful. If I was to pick between the two, I think the conflict  perspective is the most useful in analyzing society because it advocates  for change, while the functionalist perspective does not. This means  that you can use what you learn employing the conflict perspective to  impact society, but the same cannot be said for the functionalist  perspective.