Tell me what you understand of these perspectives and how they will be useful when applying them to everyday social interactions. Make sure to use examples
This is a short explanation professor provided for what the 3 perspectives are.
Functionalist Perspective: A good example of “functionalism” is to think of society like a system similar to the human body. All parts of society are necessary in order for it to function and maintain order. The human body is the same as we need all of our major organs in order for it to function properly! Functionalist’s believe that are institutions are necessary as they hold society together.
Conflict Perspective: A good example of conflict is to remember that in society there will always be competition for wealth, power, and prestige. The rich “bourgeoisie” own the wealth in society and inadvertently oppress the poor “proletariat”. We see this in everyday life as the middle class is shrinking and the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen. Karl Marx predicted the proletariat would eventually become tired of the oppression and eventually “overthrow” the bourgeoisie!
Fun fact: The word slang term “bougie” (“luxurious in lifestyle yet humble in character”) originates from the word bourgeoisie.
Symbolic Interactionist Perspective: Examples of this theoretical lens argue that there is meaning in everyday mundane interactions such as waving hello, shaking hands, or saying “how are you”? Social meanings are even attached to objects such a street signs, body language such as frowning, or the meaning of slang words/text lingo such as “gonna” or “LOL”.
Additional reading on the three major sociological perspectives: Sociological Theories
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