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Gender Inequality: Theoretical Perpsectives

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1. Compare and contrast the views on gender inequality of functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interaction theory.

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1. Compare and contrast the views on gender inequality of functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interaction theory.

The sociological perspective: seeing the general in the particular, the power of society to shape our thoughts, feelings, and actions; transforming personal problems into public issues. In general, sociology focuses on the social nature of personality; the effects of social class, race, and gender on social life; the interactional basis of society; and the place of beliefs and values in social structure and social action. A fundamental concern is to analyze the reciprocal nature of social existence—to understand how society influences us and how we, in turn, construct it. http://academic.hws.edu/anthrosoc/socdescriptions.asp

Thus, social inequalities, such as gender equality analysis fits into this broader sociological analysis of the reciprocal nature of social existence - to understand how society influences us in terms of gender definition, and how we, in turn construct it (e.g., genders are equal, genders are not equal), and then respond to this definition. Each theory explains the construct of gender inequality slightly differently. http://academic.hws.edu/anthrosoc/socdescriptions.asp

Functionalism

Functionalists are interested in explaining the function of different social phenomena (e.g., gender inequality). Thus, gender inequality is explained in terms of keeping the status quo. The women's role was to stay at home and look after the children, and the husband's role was to work and be the breadwinner. This theory has been criticized for not dealing ...

Solution Summary

This solution assists in comparing and contrasting the functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interaction theoretical perspectives on gender inequality. References are provided.

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