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    Can anyone give me a definition of what a consensus approach is in sociology? I know consensus means when everyone agrees and that functionalism is an example, but what exactly is it and what other perspectives does it include? Thanks in advance
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    Consensus in society is about how social order is maintained. From a consensus perspective everyone agrees on social norms and values and people work together to maintain society. Look at: Parsons, Durkheim

    Conflict theories work on the basis of disagreement or control. For example Gramsci's notion of hegemony or Althusser's (1971) idea of ideological state apparatus maintaining the position of the ruling class.

    Anything else you wanna know?
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    don't suppose you know any discussion points on whether consensus or conflict theories are better for understanding contemporary society? I'm having so much trouble coming up with an answer for that. (trying to go through all of the past exam papers...)
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    (Original post by she)
    don't suppose you know any discussion points on whether consensus or conflict theories are better for understanding contemporary society? I'm having so much trouble coming up with an answer for that. (trying to go through all of the past exam papers...)
    That sounds pretty similar to the question I'm trying to answer, which is about how useful consensus approaches are to understanding crime and deviance. I think we just have to go through all the consenus approaches, talk about their strengths and weaknesses, and then do the same for conflict approaches. The only slight problem is that I'm not sue what most of the perspectives are classed as.
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    (Original post by darryladie)
    Consensus in society is about how social order is maintained. From a consensus perspective everyone agrees on social norms and values and people work together to maintain society. Look at: Parsons, Durkheim

    Conflict theories work on the basis of disagreement or control. For example Gramsci's notion of hegemony or Althusser's (1977) idea of ideological state apparatus maintaining the position of the ruling class.

    Anything else you wanna know?
    Thanks for replying So functionalism is consensus and Marxism and feminism are conflict, but do you know what the other perspectives (postmodernism, interactionism, New Right, New Left Realism) would come under?
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    I think new right realism is influenced by functionalism, so that could be seen as a consensus approach. Neo functionalism also.
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    (Original post by kellywood_5)
    Thanks for replying So functionalism is consensus and Marxism and feminism are conflict, but do you know what the other perspectives (postmodernism, interactionism, New Right, New Left Realism) would come under?
    Well postmodernism rejects metanarratives, they see society as being in a constant state of flux, fluidity and change. Whether you could see that as conflict or consensus I don't know.

    But think about Giddens (who advises Tony Blair) - he is a neo-Weberian working with a socially democratic government. I think you could say that social democracy recognises inequalities but seeks to reduce them.

    Interactionism isn't a structuralist theory, it only look at meanings, therefore Im not sure you could categorise it as either.
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    (Original post by darryladie)
    Well postmodernism rejects metanarratives, they see society as being in a constant state of flux, fluidity and change. Whether you could see that as conflict or consensus I don't know.

    But think about Giddens (who advises Tony Blair) - he is a neo-Weberian working with a socially democratic government. I think you could say that social democracy recognises inequalities but seeks to reduce them.

    Interactionism isn't a structuralist theory, it only look at meanings, therefore Im not sure you could categorise it as either.
    OK, thanks. So I guess I could say consensus approaches such as functionalism, the New Right and realism are useful, but backed up by conflict approaches such as Marxism and feminism and other approaches such as postmodernism and interactionism. Rep coming your way for the help
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    (Original post by kellywood_5)
    OK, thanks. So I guess I could say consensus approaches such as functionalism, the New Right and realism are useful, but backed up by conflict approaches such as Marxism and feminism and other approaches such as postmodernism and interactionism. Rep coming your way for the help
    The key to this essay question (if its the one I think you're doing) is postmodernity and the metanarrative. Look at whether metanarratives are useful to understanding the whole of society or whether in fact, as postmodernists would argue, things are too always changing and things cannot be explained so broadly.

    Also, look at symoblic interactionism and looking at society in terms of individual encounters and meanings rather than an explanation of structure.

    However, as you said you can argue that a Marxist point of view is valid because of the inequalities in society. If the question was synoptical you could also mention differentiating attainment in education.

    Best of luck.
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    does anyone know what 'the key features of the family and education from a consensus and a conflict perspective' means? thanks
 
 
 
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