The functionalism and conflict sociological theories

‘Sociology is a societal scientific discipline that surveies society and the person in position of Society. The beginnings of Sociology prevarication in the nineteenth century but during the 1960-70s, it became a major societal scientific discipline capable, taught in universities and colleges, and schools. The range of sociology has merely become more scientific with clip ‘ . ( Sociology Guide, no day of the month )

‘Sociology is the survey of human societal life, groups and societies. It is a dazzling and compelling endeavor, holding as its capable affair our ain behaviour as societal existences. The range of sociology is highly broad, runing from the analysis of go throughing brushs between persons in the street up to the probe of global societal procedures ‘ . ( Giddens cited on Sociology usher, 1989 ) .

Sociology enables to derive a better apprehension on how the interaction among the society members plants. Through the cognition on sociology, we are able to better our networking which is really utile and of import for business people.

The survey of sociology today focuses on three primary theoretical positions: the symbolic interactionist position, the functionalist position, and the struggle position.

1.2 Functionalism

Functionalism positions ‘society as a system that is a set of interrelated parts which together form a whole ‘ ( India, 2009 ) . It emphasizes on the macro degree of society and its assorted parts are understood chiefly in term of their relationship to the whole. The laminitis, Emile Durkheim suggested that societal consensus takes one of two signifiers: viz. mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity. Mechanical solidarity is a state of affairs where people with similar vision and beliefs together achieve end in the society. In contrast, organic solidarity said that although people in the society are interdependent they hold different values and beliefs.

1.3 Symbolic Interactionist Perspective

The symbolic interactionist position, directs sociologists to see the symbols and inside informations of mundane life, what these symbols mean, and how people interact with each other ( Cliffsnotes, no day of the month ) . Harmonizing to this theory, ‘people attach significances to symbols, and so they act harmonizing to their subjective reading of these symbols ‘ ( Cliffsnotes, no day of the month ) .

Early Conflict Theory

Conflict theory was introduced by a great German theoretician and political militant, Karl Marx ( 1818-1883 ) . The laminitis of this struggle mentioned that history of societal life began from supplying the basic necessities of life such as- nutrient, vesture and shelter ( McClelland, 2000 ) .In order to last in the danger, worlds realize the demand to work together to better the societal construction ( Hatch and Cunfille,2006, p.28 ) . Karl Marx insisted that all things with values in society are the part of labour through their battle in making the society for their ain being ( McClelland, 2000 ) .

Harmonizing to Marx, the society is divided into two categories, the middle class which is the proprietors of capital and the proletariat- the labours. Division of labour refers to ‘breaking down of big occupations into many bantam constituents ‘ ( Dhamee, 1995 ) . Division of labours, hence, leads to alienation that is ‘the disenfranchising of workers from the merchandise of their work attempts ‘ ( Hatch and Cunfille, 2006, p.29 ) . Labor, in fact, is defined as the cost of production instead than simply the agencies to accomplish a corporate benefit for the society ( Hatch and Cunfille, 2006, p.29 ) . It gives humans a strictly instrumental relationship based on their economic value of possible to make work ( Hatch and Cunfille, 2006, p.29 ) . Therefore, when the capitalists accepted this disaffection, development will take topographic point. As The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language ( 2000 ) cited in The Free Dictionary ( no day of the month ) , development refers to the ‘utilization of another individual or group for selfish intents ‘ .

The cardinal establishment of a capitalist society is private belongings, the system where the capital owned by the dominant groups is controlled by the little minority of the population ( McClelland, 2000 ) . The major struggle is on whether which group should acquire the biggest portion of net income. The proprietor of the land argued that they are entitled as they are the suppliers of the factors of production whereas the labour stressed that they are the affecting in all production.

Recent Conflict Theory

3.1 Max Weber

Due to the failing of Karl Marx ‘s struggle theory which is excessively ideal, Max Weber reformulated the struggle theory and therefore he is besides known as ‘bourgeois Marx ‘ ( hypertext transfer protocol: //, no day of the month ) . In the procedure of preparation, Weber concerned so much with proving, reevaluating or developing Marx ‘s thoughts and therefore, besides known as the businessperson Marx ( Marxism: Structural Conflict Theory, no day of the month ) . From his survey of the society, Weber went beyond thoughts of Marx, for illustration, Weber focuses on the action in the societal establishment which is non the same as Marx and Durkheim who viewed the society as an object in itself ( hypertext transfer protocol: // ( no day of the month ) . Although Weber agreed with Marx ‘s position that category is economic in its beginning, stratification in the sentiment of Weber, includes besides the consideration of position, power and political parties ( Marxism: Structural Conflict Theory, no day of the month ) . Weber ( 1924 ) cited in hypertext transfer protocol: // ( no day of the month ) states that position is ‘social appraisal of labors and the development of seen life styles. Harmonizing to Weber, struggle is happening in any societal relationship when an ‘action within it is oriented deliberately to transporting out the histrion ‘s ain will against the opposition of the other party or parties ‘ ( Henderson and Parsons, 1947 ) .

In the society today, communicating has going an of import cause of struggle. As defined in Webster ‘s lexicon, communicating involves ‘sending giving, or interchanging information and thoughts ‘ , which is frequently expressed non-verbally and verbally ( Relationship- with, no day of the month ) . For non verbal communicating, messages are expressed through facial gestures, organic structure linguistic communications and the feeling through dressing, organic structure imagination and so on. Verbal communicating, on the other manus, means showing what is on one ‘s head through voicing out.

3.2 Communication: Government and Media

The communicating between authorities and media today has become an of import focal point and battle in our society. Governments as the standing pillars of a state, plays a critical function in governing and keeping a state in a comfortable province. In order to keep the harmoniousness, equity and truthfully are the keys to the stableness. In other words, authorities should handle all the society in a same manner and carnival. Besides that, authorities may pull off the economic system in a good manner, so the society can populate in a affluent environment. However, the written communicating in Malaysia is connoting that the position quo and particular intervention of the dominant groups, the Malayans can non be questioned. For case, Malayans are better treated by authorities than other races.

On the other position, the media plays an of import function in presenting the authorities ‘s message to the populace. Therefore, presents, everyone additions current state of affairs on politic, economic system and so on through mess media such as telecasting, wireless and newspaper. Peoples can cognize the existent state of affairss or what is presently happen in the society through the intelligence spread by media. However, media is extremely dependent on authorities. The media is in deep quandary as they want to distribute the truth on the other side, while being controlled by authorities. Intentionally, authorities possesses power on the media in order to procure the public trust and to construct a positive image of themselves for the populace. To farther elaborate, authorities restricts and command media non to distribute out authorities dirt and merely distribute good or something that is benefit for authorities, The information needed by the media is so scarce. Therefore, media with limited resources to distribute for society is required to obey authorities ‘s Torahs and orders and since authorities is the minority that owns the information. Since media is depending on authorities to supply them information, authorities has the power to command and curtail what media can distribute out to society.

From the account above, we can see the interplay of struggle between authorities and media. The authorities whom possesses the resources is possesses the power as good.

The Overlapping Between Early and Recent Conflict Theories

The first imbrication is that both of the struggle theories emphasizes on economic factors. In the olden yearss, labour and capital are viing over resources. In the universe today, labour and capital still exist. The footings merely are somewhat different. Labor in those yearss is today ‘s employee. For illustration employees are viing for occupation promotion and place in an organisation or company.

The 2nd imbrication between the early struggle and recent struggle theory is on the ground of occurring is due to scarceness. B ‘s relationship to A when A possesses something that B requires. For illustration, authorities got the power over media because authorities contains the information that media demands to be included in their newspaper, plan and so on. Another illustration in US, many of the campaigners are take parting in make fulling the place of a president. But, it is rare. Merely one individual is entitled, in other words, it is scarce and therefore leads to competition. Dependence additions when resources are of import, scarce and non-substitutable.

The 3rd overlapping between early and recent struggle theory is inequality. For illustration in US, there is evidently inequality, the favoritism of the Black by the White. The white ever been perceived as the dominant party. As defined in ( 2010 ) , favoritism is an act of ‘treatment or consideration of, or doing a differentiation in favour of or against, a individual or thing based on the group, category, or class to which that individual or thing belongs instead than on single virtue ‘ . The common favoritisms are racial, gender and spiritual intolerance. Until today where the Black has going the president, the Black is still being treated as the lower category despite of the fact the state of affairs is somewhat bettering.


In a nutshell, struggle theory is a theory that sees the society as a topographic point with inequality which so leads to development and societal alteration. In the early struggle theory, an probe on societal category in the free market economic system was conducted. It emphasizes simply on the capitalist and the labour as the cause of inequality, which is excessively ideal. Therefore it leads to the reappraisal of the struggle theory by Max Weber. Max Weber, being the protagonist of bureaucratism, highlighted more elaborate by saying that there are different types of capitalists and accomplishments of labours are vary as good. From our treatment above, semi-struggle between authorities and media is ineluctable. In my position, struggles resulted in positiveness because it stresses on competition. In order to last, people will endeavor to derive the limited resources which so effect in the betterment of the society.


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