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Three Theoretical Approaches To Sociology

Topic: Sociology

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3 Major Theoretical Approaches to Sociology Functionalism (a.k.a. Structural Functionalism, Functional Analysis, Positivism): Until relatively modern times the prevalent sociological perspective was Functionalism, a paradigm which analyzes social structures (such as religion, schooling, or race relations) to deduce what social functions (such as marriage conventions, college attendance, or hiring practices) derive from them. This theoretical approach views society as a system of inter-dependent social functions each working to maintain equilibrium and stability within the whole. The social function of marriage, for instance, might be seen to derive from a religious structure. The values, norms, and behaviors surrounding marriage (such as age limits, ‘showers’, and marriage licenses), and the ways in which these aspects of the function benefit the participants, is the ‘society’ which rises from the initial structure. In a functional view social functions are seen t...

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