Main perspectives of Sociology

Essay by lina_kHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2006

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Sociology is a social science. It is the study of the social lives of people, groups, and societies, sometimes defined as the study of social interactions. It evolved in the early 19th century. It concerns itself with the social rules and processes that connect and separate people not only as individuals, but as members of associations, groups, and institutions. Sociology is interested in our behaviour as social beings, therefore the sociological field of interest ranges from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social processes. In a general sense, sociology is the scientific study of social groups, the entities through which humans move throughout their lives. Sociologist have different theories on what makes a society and what creates conflict within it. The main theories are consensus, conflict, structure, action and feminism.

The consensus theory is a group of theories in which social order and stability forms the base of emphasis.

Therefore, consensus theory is concerned with the maintenance of social order in society, in relation to accepted norms, values, rules and regulations accepted within a society. It Emerged out of the sociology of social order and social stability.

Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) is the French sociologist. He is conventionally regarded as the 'founding father' that made Sociology more popular and known in France and paved the way for this professionalisation to occur across the rest of Europe and in North America.

He is now also regarded as the 'father' of the Structural-Functionalist approach in sociology, which is an approach developed by the North American sociologists Talcott Parsons and Robert Merton. Durkheim always played a part in establishing the legitimacy of Sociology, as a science with its own protocols and domain.

Durkheim believed that the development of a Consensus of values is critical.