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The effect of sociological theories on social institutions.

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Please help me with the following.

Select one social institution (family, health-care, religion, education, mass media, political, or economic) as defined in the text. Using the Sociological theories of (Functionalism, Conflict, and Interactionism), evaluate the impact of each theory on the selected institution.

In your paper address the following elements:

How does each theory apply to the selected sociological institution? What are the similarities? What are the differences?
How does each theory affect the views of the individual who is part of the institution?
How does each theory affect the approach to social change within the selected institution?
Within the Sociological institution selected, how does each theory affect the views of society?

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Solution Summary

This solution discusses the effect of sociological theories on social institutions. The family is the basis of the discussion. The text contains 1,730 words and gives references.

Solution Preview

The solution below is based on my own writings and study of the topic. I have listed references I have used in my studies and in making this solution so as to provide you with venues for expansion.

Sociological Perspectives and the Social Institution of the Family

Society is the 'subject' of the social sciences. Generally Speaking society is that complex social organization of human beings that share an identity inhabiting dynamic relationships and a distinctive culture. Members of a society identify themselves through that society and work together with other members to ensure that the rules, generally agreed upon by all members to govern how they relate to each other, are in place. Sociological perspectives are viewpoints from which we study and understand society and its varied mechanics and elements. There are varied sociological perspectives available to social scientists for the purpose of study. What sociological perspective is used depends on the theories and purposes of the one undertaking the study.

On Functionalism

Functionalism, Conflict theory, and Social Interactionism are sociological perspectives that I believe can be used to study the social unit of the family. Functionalism looks at the family as if it was one mechanical entity with every member of the family taking on a role and a function affecting the whole. For example, the mother is the nurturer, support to the husband in terms of keeping the family together taking on household duties as well as economic duties; the father, traditionally is 'head' of the family whose primary function is to provide for the economic and financial needs of his wife and children; the children are dependent on their parents but take on an important role towards each other and to their parents. What these roles are vary according to the age of the children and their stage in life. In the elder years of their parents, the children are expected to become the nurturer and provider for their parents, a role reversal of sorts. Since a functionalist perspectives focuses on roles/functions, when a family is in a state of conflict, the dynamics of family function can be looked at to pinpoint the areas of issue/tension for the purpose of finding solutions.
From a functionalist perspective, how can a member of a family view self and society? First off, the self-view will be rooted in function and expectations. The father for example will view himself as one who must provide for and protect his family based on standard expectations of what fathers do and what fatherhood means in the society he belongs to. He will view society as one of function and structure as well where his family makes up a unit integral to the functioning social groups he/his family belongs. Roles then will become part of the expected mental images a functionalist perspective gives in terms of viewing family and society. Thus, the roles of mother, father, ...

Solution provided by:
  • MPhil/PhD (IP), Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • MA, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • Certificate, Geva Ulpan (via Universita Tel Aviv)
  • BA, University of the Philippines
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