Theories in Sociology

High School ・Sociology ・APA

Picture #1: Social conflict (specifically gender conflict)

This picture shows a male and female both competing to arrive at the same destination, which could be a job or financial status. However, the two have different paths to success. For instance, several obstacles are aligned on the woman’s path. She has to pass through a complicated education process that involves studying many books. In the end, the woman encounters an enormous obstacle that seems more challenging to counter, and diminishes her hopes. By comparison, the man’s path is smooth without any hindrances. This image relates to the social conflict theory by showing that groups tend to attain success or resources depending on their strengths. In most cases, men are considered powerful compared to women. Hence, the image shows that men’s power and influence helps to eliminate many obstacles in their life and push them towards the women. Accordingly, it becomes difficult to compete fairly and win.

Picture #2- Social Conflict (Society structured in ways to benefit a few at the expense of the majority)

This photo shows inequality existing in the society, specifically between the wealthy and the poor or the lower and the upper class. From the picture, three people are kneeling at the front, while two are on top of them. The three represents the poor or weak individuals in the society, who are oppressed by the other two. Then, the one person on top of the five represents the wealthy, influential, or powerful people in the community. From the picture, it is evident that the poor constitute a large percentage of people, while a middle class has just a slightly small number. On the other hand, the wealthy are very few but oppress the majority. The image relates to the social conflict theory by showing the unfair relationship between the poor and affluent. This image reflects the true nature of the society. For instance, employers will always misuse employees to make high profits, while making them more miserable. On the other hand, corrupt leaders will continue to enrich themselves on behalf of their followers.

Picture #3 – Either structural-functional or symbolic interactionism

This image represents the structural-functional theory, which states that a society consists of complex systems, which interact to maintain a high level of stability and solidarity. The image shows a road with lights. Alongside the way, there are mountains. The picture seems to be taken at night because of the reflection of light. The road, light, darkness, and mountains represent a complex society that interacts together. The road facilitates movement through the mountainous region. On the other hand, the lights allow people to move on the road even when there is total darkness. In life, people have to interact and help each other. Similar to the road, some people in the community provide the basis or starting point towards success. Other people have a role same to the light by guiding others to ensure they stick to the correct path. However, other people have similar traits to the mountains or darkness since they always resist any positive changes in the society.

Picture #4 - Social conflict

This picture represents a community with two different groups of people. The dog represents the first group, which is happy and domineering. On the other hand, the cat represents individuals oppressed, inferior, and unhappy. According to the social conflict theory, uneven distribution of resources and opportunities contribute to most of the conflicts. The result is the development of social order, the high, and the low. From the picture, the dog appears to be strong, hence controlling most of the available resources. The dog, therefore, portrays individuals who do not allow others to access or use the handy opportunities. Comparatively, the cat demonstrates an angry population unable to obtain any resources or opportunities. This category of individuals will always lead an impoverished life. This picture shows that social differences hinder positive interaction between people of different socio-economic status. 

Picture #5 - Structural-functional

This picture shows how people in the society work together to accomplish any task. According to the structural-functional theory, all the systems in the society have to interact to gain the required benefit or advantage. The theory shows that a successful society is based on teamwork. In this picture, teamwork and collaboration are represented by the young people who decide to climb on each other’s back to reach the building’s ceiling. A similar scenario occurs in lives of many people who have to depend on the support from other to succeed. Thus, the picture shows that togetherness will always thrive in a functional society.

Picture #6 - Symbolic interactionism (they are sisters)

Symbolic interactionism applies to this picture because it shows how people visualize their life with daily experiences. This image shows two sisters sitting together while staring into an open space. The picture seems to have been taken in the evening. It is not easy to determine what the sisters are discussing, but from their postures, it appears as if they are reflecting on the events occurring in their lives. In life, humans tend to gauge success or failures by reflecting on how they led a previous life. By coming together, it is easy to give each other compassion and encouragement. The theory of symbolic interactionism seems to relate to this picture because it shows the girls comforting each other while hoping to have an improved life in future. 

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