Functionalist conflict and labeling theory

Conflict theory is a Marxist-based theory that views individuals and groups in society as having unequal amounts of resources both material and nonmaterial. Because of this inequity, those who are on the bottom end of society will ultimately cause a rebellion. Functionalists, on the other hand, look at the relationship between the parts of society; how each part works and interacts with other parts.

Functionalist conflict and labeling theory

Its central idea is that society is a complex unit, made up of interrelated parts. Sociologists who apply this theory study social structure and social function.

Functions of Deviance Durkheim argued that deviance is a normal and necessary part of any society because it contributes to the social order. He identified four specific functions that deviance fulfills: Affirmation of cultural norms and values: Seeing a person punished for a deviant act reinforces what a society sees as acceptable or unacceptable behavior.

Sentencing a thief to prison affirms our culturally held value that stealing is wrong. Just as some people believe that the concept of God could not exist without the concept of the devil, deviance helps us affirm and define our own norms. Clarification of right and wrong: Responses to deviant behavior help individuals distinguish between right and wrong.

Functionalist conflict and labeling theory

When a student cheats on a test and receives a failing grade for the course, the rest of the class learns that cheating is wrong and will not be tolerated. Unification of others in society: Responses to deviance can bring people closer together.

Theoretical Perspectives

In the aftermath of the attacks on September 11,people across the United States, and even the world, were united in their shock and grief. There was a surge in patriotic feeling and a sense of social unity among the citizens of the United States.

Deviance can also encourage the dominant society to consider alternative norms and values. Strain Theory of Deviance Sometimes people find that when they attempt to attain culturally approved goals, their paths are blocked. Not everyone has access to institutionalized means, or legitimate ways of achieving success.

Strain theory, developed by sociologist Robert Merton, posits that when people are prevented from achieving culturally approved goals through institutional means, they experience strain or frustration that can lead to deviance. He said that they also experience anomie, or feelings of being disconnected from society, which can occur when people do not have access to the institutionalized means to achieve their goals.

In a class of graduating high school seniors, 90 percent of the students have been accepted at various colleges. Five percent do not want to go to college, and the remaining five percent want to go to college but cannot, for any one of a number of reasons.

All of the students want to succeed financially, and attending college is generally accepted as the first step toward that goal. They had the same goals as everyone else but were blocked from the usual means of achieving them.

They may act out in a deviant manner. Institutionalized Means to Success In the s, sociologists Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin theorized that the most difficult task facing industrialized societies is finding and training people to take over the most intellectually demanding jobs from the previous generation.

To progress, society needs a literate, highly trained work force. Cloward and Ohlin argued that if people were dissatisfied with what they had, what they earned, or where they lived, they would be motivated to work harder to improve their circumstances.

In order to compete in the world marketplace, a society must offer institutionalized means of succeeding. For example, societies that value higher education as a way to advance in the workplace must make educational opportunity available to everyone.In direct contrast is the conflict theory.

Conflict theorists believe that the unequal distribution of wealth and resources (including labor) result in conflict between groups within a society. When those groups are competing for wealth and resources, the more powerful will decimate or oppress the less powerful. Conflict theory emphasizes the role of coercion and power in producing social order.

This perspective is derived from the works of Karl Marx, who saw society as fragmented into groups that compete for social and economic resources. Unlike functionalist theory, which takes a macrostructural approach to explaining social deviance, conflict theory takes a more microstructural approach.

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Structural Functional Theory Another framework sociologists use to understand the world is the structural functional theory. Its central idea is that society is a . Functionalist, Conflict, labeling theory. Functionalism.

About Russia Robinson

Sees society As being like a living organism in which each part contributes to the survival of the whole. Functionalist perspective. Emphasizes how the parts of society are structured to maintain its stability. Conflict. Marx's theory was a theory of history, not a theory of human behavior.9 He maintained that the ideas and institutions of society, such as the ideologies, values, and .

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