Wal-Mart operates as a distributor, and retailer of consumer goods. Wal-Mart's history is one of innovation, leadership and success. It started with a single store in Rogers, Arkansas in 1962 and has grown to what is now the world's largest - and arguably, the most emulated - retailer. Some researchers refer to Wal-Mart as the industry trendsetter. 1.4 million Employees worldwide, Wal-Mart's workforce is now larger than that of GM, Ford, GE, and IBM combined. Wal-Mart has enormously affected local communities and US economy. What role does Wal-Mart play in our society? Does Wal-Mart represent the American dream or is it just a monstrous capitalist empire? In order to examine the matter from a sociologist's point of view one can use the structural functional theory and the social conflict theory.
According to the structural functional theory American society consists of interrelated social structures where each has a purpose of working together with other parts to bring social strength.
One can simply say that Wal-Mart serves an interrelated force in American society and it has an inherited tendency to balance and equilibrium. Also Wal-Mart provides value to customers by offering collection of a wide variety of consumer goods in a single location, and selling those goods at the lowest prices. One can argue that Wal-Mart is a step up for fast food, gas station, mini-mart, and most clerical jobs. It offers a job at a price (per hour) to a prospective employee that isn't going to find any better local options. My experience in Wal-Mart is that they hire people that most other places don't. At least in the two I shop, a large percentage of the employees are 70 years old or so. I don't see a problem with requiring some physical labor of employees, considering that as far...