A perspective on social life derived from a particular theoretical tradition. Some of the major theoretical traditions in sociology include functionalism, structuralism, symbolic interactionism and Marxism. Theoretical approaches supply overall 'perspectives' within which sociologists work, and influence the areas of their research as well as the modes in which research problems are identified and tackled three main theoretical perspectives of Sociology (Functionalism, Conflict Theory, and Symbolic Interaction) to explain MAJOR THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES IN SOCIOLOGY I. LEVELS OF THEORY A. Macro: non-human factors, large-scale human factors, interpretations involving large numbers of people. B. Micro: Day-to-day intepersonal relationships C. Middle Range: Major system components. (closer to macro) II. MAJOR TYPES OF THEORY IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY A. Functionalist # Modeled after physical sciences a. Generalization b. Objectivity c. Quantification d. Experimentation # Key Aspects a. Social systems 1) Relation of parts to whole 2) Integration b. Structure ## 1) Ecological 2) Roles 3) Groups 4) Norms c. Functions: Manifest and Latent d. Universal Needs B. Conflict (Marxist influence) # Modeled after medicine and psychonalysis.
# Society not smooth system, but an arena of conflict
# Conflict is a major source of change
# Question: Functional for whom?
C. Symbolic Interaction (generally a micro approach) # Curiosity about social practices, procedures, meanings
# Key Aspects a. Symbols b. The Social Self c. Social construction of reality