Discovering Sociology – Social Life Interpretations From The Major Perspectives

Prompt –

Social life can be interpreted from one of the three major theoretical frameworks or perspectives. Describe the major points of each framework/perspective and discuss which perspective you think provides a more accurate or complete view of the social world and why


The sociological appraisal of given phenomena is done at varied levels as well as from diverse theoretical perspectives: conflict, symbolic interactionist (SI) or functionalist (Barkan, 2011). Sociologists draw various theoretical paradigms from each of the perspectives to explain the ways in which people are impacted upon by their societies.

The SI perspective orientates sociologists towards considering the daily life’s details and symbols along with their meanings. The sociologists who work on the basis of the SI perspective are keen on considering the ways in which the members of given societies interact with each other. The perspective has people understood as attaching particular meanings to specific symbols and basing their actions on own subjective appreciation of the symbols as explained amply by Barkan (2011). Largely, the worldview provided by the perspective is rather incomplete since it does not accommodate the macro-level interpretation of societies.

Sociologists who adopt the functionalism perspective view every societal aspect, or facet, as depending on the others and contributing significant to the functioning of any given society. The perspective presents societies as held in place by societal, or communal, consensus (Barkan, 2011). The members of a given society agree to collaborate to attain the best for the society. Largely, the worldview provided by the perspective is rather incomplete since it does not consider the adverse consequences of social events, or happenings, like divorce.

Sociologists who adopt the conflict theoretical framework focus on the negative attributes of given societies, especially the attributes adding to the societies’ stability. The sociologists take individuals as cooperating to shape particular social orders and persuade social changes (Barkan, 2011). The perspective presents a worldview that is more complete than the other perspectives do since it is rightly and clearly presents given societies as having dissimilar groups having commonly conflicting, as well as competing, agendas and values, some of which are negative.

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