Sociology discussion responses

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  1. When it comes to understanding families, structural functionalists perspectives are different because they believe that society is a system that has parts that contain solidarity and stability. When it comes to family though, its almost as if structural functionalists are saying that there are parts of a family that are needed for that same solidarity and stability. For example, a healthy marriage could be a part of having solidarity and stability. In our powerpoints it said that the role of the husband is breadwinner and the wife is the homemaker, and that makes it stable. Having a balance in a family is very important. I have to say that out of all of these approaches, i do agree with the structural functionalists perspectives. I feel this way because this is almost how i was raised to understand a family and i will continue this when i have a family of my own one day. Men and women have their own roles, own jobs, but women do the majority of the housework, etc. and it will all even out in the end.
  2. When analyzing and attempting to understand families from a sociological perspective, there are a surplus of theories and perspectives to compare and break down.  Where structural functionalist perspectives differ from the rest is how they view families in relation to society.  These theorists see families as a working part, not as a separate entity. They are seen for their contribution to the rest of society and how they aid others to being able to fulfill their roles. After reading more deeply about each of the theoretical perspectives, I have to say I agree with most of the perspectives and theories under the structural functionalist ideas.  If I had to choose a few that stuck out to me, I would have chosen the Exchange theory and the Conflict perspective.  The Exchange theory simply explains how those with different strengths and/or capabilities joint together to maximize their potential.  I see this all the time, especially in my own life.  If we are speaking of families, many couples (who go on to beginning a family) find comfort in being slightly different than their partner, in other words “opposites attract”.  The Conflict perspective stuck out to me because it supports the idea that as a family or member of a society, it is essential to challenge ideas or to express differences, because it aids growth and building strength.
  3. Each perspective perceives the world differently, especially when looking at a family. For example, the structural functionalist perspective focuses on searching why things are staying the same. Different institutions combined bring about order and function. When groups perform their duty as expected, they are working towards and creating function. Rules and society following those expectations brings order. Each group/institution has its own purpose. The structural functionalist approach makes a lot of sense to me because as a member of society, I see how institutions have their own purpose, and all together form function and order. Symbolic interaction is the one that makes most sense to me because I can apply it to my life. I see how my behavior, language, and mood alters depending on who I am interacting with. I also see that I try to think about how other perceive me and behave taking that into consideration. For example, I do not want someone to think or see me as being rude or mean, so I treat people with kindness, love, respect, and generosity. Because I can apply it to various areas of my life, the symbolic interaction perspective makes the most sense to me.
  4. When analyzing family structures, structural functionalists follow a  traditional perspective. Structural functionalists are focused on stability. Household members usually maintain specific roles with men usually being the financial provider and the women maintaining the household. However, in modern times this isn’t always the case. Many households have evolved and accepted the change of roles. Specifically, the exchange theory is commonly displayed in modern day households. While I do believe in gender equality, I also believe we all have strengths and weaknesses. With the exchange theory, people within the household are able to balance each others strengths and weaknesses regardless of gender, which equates to a healthier and stronger front. For example, if my husband is an extremely better cook than I am, why should I punish my family with my mediocre cooking everyday when my husband and I can alternate.
  5. Structural functionalists believed that nontraditional family structures are more likely to be unstable and ineffective. When it comes to the consensus perspective, it is clear that norms and values are shared. However, in conflict theory, it is explained that opposing sides are necessary to define and give depth to societal evolution. I think that the conflict perspective makes more sense in a family, especially when it comes to children. If one parent believes one thing, yet another parent believes something else, it leaves room for the children to make decisions on what they want to believe. To go off of the conflict theory, I think that the exchange theory is also necessary within the family. With this, all individuals can come together with their differences in strengths and weaknesses in order to gain within the familial relationship. However, the conflict perspective makes the most sense to me when it comes to understanding families. Conflict brings about progress. With that, I think that the conflict perspective works within the family because it helps the family to grow.

Last Updated on March 27, 2020