Theoretical Perspectives - Grayslake North High School

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Theoretical Perspectives

Current Perspectives

A theoretical perspective, or a school of thought, is a general set of assumptions about the nature of things.

Sociology

– theoretical perspectives outlines specific ideas about the nature of social life.

Symbolic Interactionism

Symbolic Interactionism

– focus on how on how individuals interact with one another in society. Particularly interested in the role that symbols play.

*Language highly significant form of symbolism (take for granted and do not question it) verbal and non-verbal

Symbols must be agreed upon by members of society.

Increase of divorce rate in terms of the changing symbols ( or meanings) associated with marriage and divorce.

- Example: Changes in ideas etc. have made marriage more fragile = divorce http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/03/0

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Functional Analysis

Functional Analysis

– views

society as a set of interrelated parts that work together to produce a stable social system.

Most people agree on what is best for society and work together to ensure that the social system runs smoothly.

Example: Family has lost traditions etc due to industrialization and urbanization, outside agencies take on roles and have made marriage more fragile = divorce

Functions

Manifest Functions

– intended and recognized consequences of an aspect of society.

School = math skills

Latent Functions- unintended and unrecognized consequences of an aspect of society.

School = friendships

Dysfunctions: negative consequences of an aspect of society. Not all elements of society make a positive contribution.

Conflict Theory

Conflict Theory

– focuses on those forces in society that promote competition and change.

 society is composed of groups and individuals competing for scarce resources. These resources include: wealth, power, prestige, and privilege

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Example: Men and women’s relationships have changed, women more likely to end marriages

.

Women have gained power.

Sociological Perspective: School

Functionalist:

School integrates individuals into society by transmitting culture and values and promoting acceptable behavior.

Conflict:

School has established patterns of authority that reflect and underscore power relationships and conflict in society.

Symbolic Interactionist:

Social interaction among groups in school influences the way groups and individuals behave.

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