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major sociological paradigms

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How do you define the four major sociological paradigms and how can you tell the difference between them? What are the major terms and theorists attributed to these paradigms?

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Major sociological paradigms are identified.

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The four major paradigms within sociology have been identified as "functionalism", "conflict theory", "symbolic interactionism", and the "feminist perspective"*.

1. Functionalism

- As a "macrosociological" (large scale) perspective, functionalism works to view institutions within society as a stable functioning system. Each part of the system contribute to keep society functioning.
- The analogy of a body is often used - the organs in a body each do their job in order to keep the maintain the body's ability to function normally.
- One may see both manifest and latent functions within a society.

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