Theoretical viewpoints

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Sociology ・APA ・1 Sources

Theoretical insights in sociology provide the foundation for researchers to categorize specific social phenomena in different social contexts. In their various ways, sociological theories attempt to describe the why and how things happen in the real world. The other theoretical viewpoints in sociology, such as functionalist, conflict, queer, and symbolic-interactionist theories, attempt to understand why individuals or groups of people choose to take certain acts and why communities alter or work in specific ways (Schaefer, 2015). Functionalist The structural-functional theory views every culture as a dynamic structure to be understood. On the other hand, the structural-functioning approach sees the vibrant society as interconnected system composed of various peripherals that function together to make the whole system work (Schaefer, 2015). In reference to the argument of the argument of the structural-functioning theory, the society can be equated with a human body composing of the limbs, the head, neck, stomach, brains, nervous system, blood, heart and veins. Each part of a human body just like the society performs a role in conjunction with the other body parts in order to keep the body functioning and one alive.


The social conflict theory views the society as a composition of various groups which are diverse, distinct and in conflict. The conflicts in societies arise due to scarcity in resources, fight for power, ideological differences and inherent physiological differences that bring about sexism or racism (Schaefer, 2015). Conflicts can be seen in the fight for equal rights between the whites and the blacks in the United States of America that led to the civil rights movements.


Feminism theory views the society as made up of traditionally enshrined perspective that places men and women at unequal positions and therefore, feminism try to bring about equality between men and women (Schaefer, 2015). In the past, women were not allowed to vote for leaders in the United States of America. Feminism led to passing of suffrage laws that allowed women to vote and thus be equal with men.


The queer theory on the other hand views that in line with humanity, each sex has a distinct range of essential characteristics that are inherent to the given sex Schaefer, 2015). Men are seen as more aggressive and suite for masculine activities while female is known to be compassionate and tender.

Symbolic Interactionist

The symbolic interactionist theory strives to understand the nature and behavior of human beings at diverse contexts. Interactionist theory states that human beings can be better understood in an interactive and practical relation with the given environment. A behavior of an employee can be better understood when one is at work doing practical job and interacting with other employees (Schaefer, 2015).


The theoretical perspectives in sociology are diverse and all uniformly are oriented towards understanding. The theoretical perspectives in sociology play a vital role in understanding human behavior. The ability to understand human behavior allows individuals, institutions such as schools, organizations dealing with employees or policy makers to understand human behavior in order to come up with appropriate programs or reactions in response to human activities


Schaefer, R. (2015). Sociology: A brief introduction (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.

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