Sociology Essay

Sociology Essay 1
There are three main assumptions that I took from this first chapter of reading. There was the symbolic-interaction approach, the structural-functional approach, and the social-conflict approach. Out of those three, I believe I gathered a lot of very useful information about the sociological perspective.
“The sociologist, then, is someone concerned with understanding society in a disciplined way” (Berger, p. 4).
Let’s start with the symbolic-interaction approach. Our textbook defines the symbolic-interaction approach as “a framework for building theory that sees society as the product of the everyday interactions of individuals” (Macionis, 2009, p. 19). What this is mainly asking us to do as humans is to just look at everyday symbols that are presented to us in our everyday life, and to try and figure out what these symbols mean. According to this perspective, people try and decipher what these symbols mean, and then act consequently to them. Why do you think that couples give each other rings when they get married, or when they get engaged? A ring is a symbol of commitment to that person. Well, that’s my opinion of what it means, but it is a symbol nonetheless. This is also a micro-level orientation or a “close-up focus on social interaction in specific situations” (Macionis, 2009, p. 19). Being so focused on just certain things may cause the person to miss the true meaning of the symbol. A good example is focusing in too much on the “trees” rather than the “forest”. Things like that cause symbol interactionists to fail to see the larger issues of society.
The next approach is what is called the structural-functional approach. The structural-functional approach “is a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability” (Macionis, 2009, p. 16). What this approach does is focus on the importance of social structure. Social structure is “any relatively stable...