Other perspectives /‘schools of
thought’ / Paradigms
Structural functionalism (Parsons)
Neo- Marxism (Gramsci)
Symbolic internationalism (mead)
Feminism – liberal, Black ,Post modern + Radical
Today - focus on Marx
This is a structural, conflict theory – it believes society is capitalist, full
of conflict between the classes and one which affects every bit of
Alienation Capitalism Labour Power
Commodity Proletariat Inequality
Conflict Communism mass production
Key Ideas – Continued ( Marx)
Marxism is a theory designed to promote the ‘good society’ (similar
It is part of the modern belief that societies can be achieved in
social organisation through the application of human knowledge
Marxism rests upon the belief that the potential for individual
fulfilment and freedom is linked inextricably to the potential for the
progress in a social organisation
Key Idea’s Marx
Economic system central to Marx theory. All social activity is
therefore based around this argument
The opportunity to be free in a modern society is only possible when
the ‘class-based’ productive system characteristics of capitalism is
Marx believed eventually the lower class would rise up against the
unjust capitalist system and therefore form a communist society
Durkheim states that society controls the individual, we are
constrained & controlled by it. (social Facts- Positivist approach)
We can study society scientifically
Research is key to the discipline of sociology
Anomie Social Facts Collective conscience
Social solidarity Social Cohesion Division of Labour
Suicide Morality Norms + values
For Durkheim, then, the achievement of social life among humans,
and the existence of social order in society which he calls ‘social
solidarity’- is ensured by culture: collective standards or rules of
The body is often uses as metaphor to describe functionalism
Social facts are all the social structures (like law) norms and values
that exists to control us all, these are constraints which affect us all.
Weber’s theory recognised both the value of structural + action
While society does have the power to control us all, ultimately, it was
created by us & can be destroyed by us, too.
Weber mix micro + macro theory to see which external forces
people are vulnerable to.
Verstehen Social action Rationalization
Causality Status Structures of authority
Class Bureaucracies Micro + Macro
‘The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and
intellectualization and, above all, by the disenchantment of the
Weber was one the first sociologists who fused history with sociology
to come up with his idea. (causality – causes in history)
Class, status and Party. – important ‘weberian’ concept.
Task/ Class discussion
Which theory do you tend to agree with ?
How do you think society works ?
Contemporary examples ?
Keep hand-outs for future reference