Sociological perspectives

Becky Walker
Mind Map by Becky Walker, updated more than 1 year ago


A level Sociology Mind Map on Sociological perspectives, created by Becky Walker on 03/23/2015.

Resource summary

Sociological perspectives
1 Feminism- a sociological perspective and political movement that focuses on women's oppression and the struggle to end it. Feminists argue that sociology has traditionally taken a 'malestream' viewpoint that ignores women. Instead, they examine women's experiences and study society from a female perspective. There are different strands of feminism including Marxist, Radical, Liberal and difference feminism.
2 Functionalism- a consensus perspective in sociology that sees society as based on shared values into which members are socialized. It sees society as like an organism, each part performing functions to maintain the system as a whole; e.g. the family and education system perform socialization functions.
3 Interactionism- a sociological perspective that focuses on small-scale (micro-level) interactions between individuals and groups, rather than on the large-scale workings of society. Interactionists seek to understand the meanings of that social actors give to actions and situations, usually by using qualitative research methods.
4 Interpretivism- a term covering a range of perspectives including interactionism. Interpretivists focus on how we construct our social worlds through the meanings we create and attach to events, actions and situations. They favor qualitative methods and see human beings as fundamentally different from the natural phenomena studied by scientists by scientists, in that we have free will, consciousness and choice.
5 Marxism- a conflict perspective based on the ideas of Karl Marx. It sees society as divided into two opposed classes, one of which exploits the labor of the other. In capitalists society, the bourgeoisie exploits the proletariat. Marx predicted that proletariat would unite to overthrow the capitalists society and create a classless society. Marxist sociologists argue that institutions such as education and the media function to maintain capitalism.
6 Modernism- Modernist perspectives (e.g. Functionalism, Marxism and Positivism) believe that society has a fairly clear-cut, predictable structure and that it is possible to gain true and certain scientific knowledge of how society functions. This information can be used to help achieve a better society.
7 New Right- a conservative political perspective whose supporters believe in self-reliance and individual choice, rather than dependence on the state.They believe in applying free market principles e.g. the marketisation of education, and argue that generous welfare benefits encourage the growth of the underclass.
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