Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    in sociology,can anyone explain to me what they are?thanks
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    I think basically, structuralist perspectives like functionalism, Marxism and feminism use a macro perspective, ie they look at the big picture, and they discuss how society is shaped, ie by the interests of the ruling class or males. In contrast, interpretive perspectives like interactionism use a micro perspective, ie they look at the small picture, to see the effect of this on individuals, ie labelling. That should be vaguely right......anyway, hope it helped in some way!
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    My knowledge of the topic is mostly from politics, but I assume the content is relatively similar. Basically, structural theories try to explain the behavior of the units in terms of the system (i.e. people behave in a certain way because society is structured in such a manner as to produce such behavior). On the other hand, you have individualists (there are various names for them) who think that the actions of the units determine behavior of the system.

    Ditto to the above poster.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    feminism is not structuralist. Feminism is an approach to sociology that identifies gender as a main dynamic in society. Feminist theory uses methods from all areas, not just structural ones.

    structuralists are yeh, marxist and functionalists mainly, for functionalists you should argue about maybe the division of labour, how society is constructed. Marxist maybe talk about the superstructure model
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Marxism isn't necessarily structuralist either. Structuralist Marxism is only one strand of Marxist theory, exemplified by someone like Louis Althusser. Structuralists claim that people are the products of social structures (i.e. the concept of agency is an illusion).

    Trouble with structuralism is that the subject refuses to lie down and enjoy being determined
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    spaced you are wrong, marxist ideas say capitalism is the main dynamic of society, this is structuralist as the structure of society influences all outcomes.

    hence his superstructure model outlined in most textbooks.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ouijaouija)
    spaced you are wrong, marxist ideas say capitalism is the main dynamic of society, this is structuralist as the structure of society influences all outcomes.

    hence his superstructure model outlined in most textbooks.
    Marxism is a structural theory, but structuralism is something else (of which there is a Marxist variant).
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Structuralists say that socieity is built up on social facts that are already there, and we interpret them, they say most things have a hidden meaning so semiotics come in here. They are positivists so use alot of quantitative data in their studys, Interpretivists however say that social facts arent already there, and that we build the facts as we build up on soceity (think thats right)
    Offline

    14
    Structrual theorists feel society guides the individual, so they believe in determinism. That's saying what happens is determined by society, not yourself.

    So if you're poor, male and black you're more likely to commit crime then if you're rich, white and female because our society is materialistic, so you want to be rich fast, etc...

    The main theories for this are functionalism and marxism, but like people above have said for marxism there are some exceptions. But the more classical marxists e.g. Marx himself tend to feel that our society is capitalism, and because of the nature of this if you're born into the proletariat they keep you there, and if you're born into the bourgeoisie you'll stay there, so the individual people have no real say, or power over society.

    The other side of the spectrum is social action/micro/free well, and as the last name suggests they believe that people may be black and poor etc but they can still have free will, and wont always go down the same path. Everybody is different and unpredictable.

    The first social action theorist really was Weber, who for his time was radically different from structuralists like Marx or Durkheim, but he was still structural in some ways, so these days he's on the social action side, but close to the middle. (If that makes sense.)

    The people who are entirely social action are interactionalists, phenomenologists and ethnomethodologists. They totally reject determinism, and feel people made society in the first place, and they change it all the time, and it's people who guide society (the opposite of structuralists.)
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Structuralism: "Society makes man"
    Social action/interpretivism: "Man makes society (or woman)".
 
 
 
Poll
Do you think parents should charge rent?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.