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
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.