Comparing Durkheim's Functionalist Theory To The Conflict Theory

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This essay will discuss the theoretical approaches of both Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim. In this essay it will show evidence of support that both of these Sociology founders theories are still relevant to current social issues present today. The essay will compare and contrast the Functionalist Theory (Durkheim) to the Conflict Theory (Marx). In this essay the solutions according to both theories will be applied to the social issues present in our society today. Emile Durkheim believed that people and how they interact with one another and react to different situations should be studied in the same manner how scientists study nature, empirically. This idea had been influenced on him by Auguste Comte who was also a founder of sociology. However…show more content…
This was also known as moral solidarity, which means a group of people who share the same beliefs and values and connect with each other as one. Going against the beliefs and values of the group would have made the deviant open to punishment.“ Solidarity is maintained when individuals are successfully integrated into social groups and are regulated by a set of shared values and customs” (Giddens.2009 p 14) Durkheim established two different types of solidarity that occurred in society, Organic and Mechanical. Mechanical solidarity, which is in more traditional cultures, is the coming together of the people of society who have shared values and beliefs. The values and beliefs initiate a “collective conscience” that works in individuals to cause them to follow the social norms and beliefs. There is a much lower divide in labor and people work in the same roles which is the basis of their values and beliefs. Organic solidarity is different to Mechanical solidarity as it is dominant in industrialized societies. Instead of people working together as one because of their shared values or beliefs , people work together because they are dependent on each other economically. (P. Halligan, Class Notes,…show more content…
(Giddens.2009 p 15) This then led Durkheim to study the act of suicide in dept. He believed that the change in soceity was causing individuals to feel withdrawn and leaving them without fulfillment in their lives causing people to feel detached from society. This was known as anomie. (Giddens 2009 p 15) Durkheim’s approach to sociology is known as Functionalism. It is the study of how society works. Durkheim’s theory influenced Talcott Parsons ideas and he applied and developed the Functionalist theory to more modern societies in the 1950s. Parson’s theory argued that order and stability had more of an impact on values in societies rather than structure and he believed that supportive families were the key to successful socialization. Parsons also believed that everyone had a role to play in society and also in the family. According to Parson’s the man’s role in the family was to be the breadwinner and the financial support this was called the instrumental role. The woman’s was an emotional role and they should provide care and security for the children (P. Halligan,
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