Sociological Theories

Sociological Theories and the Family

Dana Broadnax

SOC 101

Rachael Horn

May 17, 2010

      When it comes to the family setting, the three theories; functionalism, conflict and interactionism, have an impact on the way a family is ran.   The functionalism theory is “a sociological philosophy that originally attempted to explain social institutions as collective means to fill individual biological needs. Later it came to focus on the ways social institutions fill social needs, especially social solidarity” (Functionalism). The conflict theory is a theory that “states that society or an organization functions so that each individual participant and its groups struggle to maximize their benefits, which inevitably contributes to social change such as political changes and revolutions. The theory is mostly applied to explain conflict between social classes, proletariat versus bourgeoisie; and in ideologies, such as capitalism versus socialism. While conflict theory successfully describes instances where conflict occurs between groups of people, for a variety of reasons, it is questionable whether this represents the ideal human society” (Conflict, 2008).   And the interactionism theory “has become one of the dominant sociological perspectives in the world today. It is a theory based on social interaction, and has grown in the latter half of the twentieth century. It is a theory that studies individuals and how they act within society” (Interactionism, 2010).
      I believe that the functionalism theory applies to the family setting because each person has a specific role that makes the family run and operate, just like the organs in the body have specific role.   In my family, my grandparents are the main supporters of the family; they are the older, wiser ones that everyone comes to them when they need advice.   My mother is the caretaker of the family; she lives with my grandparents to help take care of them.   Those are the two main roles in our...