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Sociological Theories Of The Social Institution Sociology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 2580 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Basically, the sociological theories are considered as an important one for understanding the operation of the society. The sociological theories helps one to understand how the people in society are related to each other. These theories will help to understand many issues of social in the society and makes it easy for developing solutions for the problems. The sociological theories helps us to understand about the family.

There are various theories that are used for explaining how the operation of the society is done and how the interaction takes place between the people. Some of the examples for theories are functionalism theories, sociological theories, and conflict theory. The other important theory is an internationalism theory.

The above theories helps to examine different institutions of the society and how they are operated. The social institutions include health care, families, and education. The above theories will impact families in different ways since they are different. The sociological theories will affect the interaction of family members. and functioning of the family.

Family as the Social Institution

I had chosen Family as the Social Institution. The sociological theories like functionalism, Conflict and interactionism are applied to the Social institution like family is briefed below.

The first theory is the functionalism theory. It is also known as the structural functionalism theory or functionalist perspective. It is considered as the main theoretical perspective of the sociology. The theory of Functionalism in the Social institution family starts by observation that the behaviour of society is structured and the relationships between members were organised by rules and are therefore it is recurrent and patterned. Functionalists will examine the relationships between the various parts of the structure and their relationships of the society. The Functionalist theory impacts that the society will be in the state of balancing and keeping the way through the parts of society’s component function. This theory has been used in biological and ecological concepts too.

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Society will be studied by us in the same way as our studying of human body by analyzing which specific systems are not working or working, problems were diagonised, and to restoring balance after devising solutions. Socialization, health care, religion, friendship, justice, recovery of economic, injustice, growth of population or decline, romantic relationships, community, marriage, peace, and divorce, and abnormal and normal family experiences were the few evidences of the processes of functionalism in our society

The next sociological theory is conflict theory which will be useful in the poverty and wealth, understanding of war, the have-nots and the haves, political strife, revolutions, divorce, exploitation, discrimination, ghettos, and prejudice, rape, domestic violence, slavery, child abuse, and so on. The conflict theory examines that the society is in the state of competition and perpetual conflict for the limited resources.

The final sociological theory on family is interactionism. The interactionism is also known as symbolic interactionism. The theory of interactionism is based on the building the social behaviour of the individuals that the society will come out and the society will be ultimately created, changed, and maintained by the social interaction of the members of the family.

The Symbolic Interactionism is considered as very powerful for helping people to understand well each other. Roommates, newlyweds, lifelong friends, teammates, young adult children and their parents can be able to use the principles, can walk a mile by wearing the shoes of others, seeing the world by wearing other’s glasses, or simply getting it. The major realizations that came with Symbolic Interactionism is that we were beginning to understand the people in our life and know that they are neither wrong nor right, at their different point of view. The conflict theories will focus mainly on social inequality and conflict. It also includes feminism. The Feminism focused on inequality of gender as which is the one form of inequality for social.

The similarities of the above mentioned three theories are they explains about the how the interactions are done with the members of the family and how the society is functioning. The differences between the three theories are explained below. The functionalism theory is differs from the theory of conflict and theory of interactionism because the functionalism theory does not stress on conflict and power. The functionalism theory will only stresses on public consensus and shared values. There is a difference between the conflict theory and the functionalism. The functionalism theory examines that the family as a single unit but it does not take place in the conflict theory.

Theories Affecting Approach To Sociological Changes To The Family

The functionalism theory of the family are closely associated with Parsons and focuses on the social institution family and its relationship in the society. Parsons were arguing that the family will fulfil number of functions in the society but the two keys identified here are given below. The first one was the children socialisation of the appropriate values and norms for the society. When we focus on the North American culture, the Parsons theorised that the family’s role were for ensuring the motivation and independence for achieving which was instilled in personalities of children. The second one is the function of the family which stabilises for the personality of adult through their marriage and serves as the antidote for the emotional strains and stresses of everyday life.

The theory Parson’s includes the gender differentiation roles in the family where each partner will be filling one of two some of opposing but the complementary functions. The characterisation of men were for fulfilling an instrumental role, but the women’s have high nature of expressive so they provide the complement. Parsons was arguing that the expressive role is for women and in the end the primarily bond of expressive occurs between the mother and the children.

The functionalism theories of the family are highly critical because they are providing little consideration of alternative family pathologies or family forms other than that it argues variations either inherently dysfunctional or fulfilling latent functions in broader of the society. Moreover, the functionalist theories will justifies the sexual division of labour, and ignores inherent of gender inequalities in structure of Parson’s complementary roles.

The sociological theory of interactionism had been associated with the theories of Mead, Goffman and Becker, and focused on phenomena of the small-scale that may constitute interactions of everyday in an attempt for understanding how individuals will understand and experience their world of social, and how the different people may come for sharing a common definition for reality.

The conflict theory examines the social institution like family in different ways. The conflict theory has ensured the relationships of the family institution. Like the other social institutions of the society, the family institution does not have a stable as the members are having conflicts that are constant. When the members of a family takes regular conflicts that results about resources that are limited, power and interests may differ. Conflict theory will be applied to families for showing that families were not harmonious. The families will never be stable since they are struggling for dealing with the differences that take place among family members, conflict and change.

Each sociological theories will affect the approach of social change on the selected institution like family. The social change regarding the family will be approached by the functionalism theory in which the education and technological advancement will be aided in understanding and promoting knowledge regarding the duties and roles should be applicable to each member of the social institution, family. The social change will results at the changes on roles and duties of various members of the family. Here, although a father remain as a family head, societal inequalities will lead to the changes of the family’s social status.

Sociological Theories Affect The Views Of Individuals Of The Family

The Sociological theories affect the views of individuals who is the part of the social institution like Family. The social institution like family is viewed as the positive institution which is comprised of husband and a wife, the kids and the wife. It affects the family members having the tendency to form the deep social and psychological ties that acts as a support tool for them. It also affects the family when they are trying to get the benefit for the entire family. Each sociological theory affects the individual who is the part of the family.

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In conflict theory, the changes are inevitable and normal in every institution including the family institution. They are common in other relationships and family relationships of the society. So, family members must manage conflicts well for bringing change in the family institution. When managing the conflicts result in failure that will result the separation on the family. This situation occurs when the relationship become poor between the family members. Conflicts are considered as evidence in different areas of the social institution, family including marriage.

The married couples are mostly not be able to control their conflicts and this causes hostility and anger and finally ending with divorce. The main goal of conflict theory helps for identifying the conflicts of the family and resolving those families making strengthen and stable in the family institution. In conflict theory, the family members were subordinated for the society.

The conflict theory is very useful in understanding wealth, ghettos, war, poverty, rape, political strife, divorce, the have-nots and the haves, revolutions, exploitation, child abuse, prejudice and discrimination, domestic violence, slavery, and other social phenomena related to conflict.  The conflict Theory impacts that the society is in the state of competition and perpetual conflict for limited resources

The theory of interactionism has the contact with the family institution because the interactionism theory is used for studying the interaction between the different members on the society. Based on the theory of interactionism, a family is nothing but a unit which is made up of personalities interaction. Communication, personalities, and roles play an important role in the social institution family. Communication acts as an important role with the interaction between different members of the family. The way the members of the family communicate it determines their interaction between them because members in the family will be tending to act based on the meaning attached to the words used for communication.

The functionalism theory is based on the each part society that affects the society. In the side of family, the family may depends on the government for providing programs and school that helps to raise their children. The other example is how the families may rely on the schools for educating the children so that they can support and grow up their own families. In effect, the children had become as law abiding citizens and participated in the society. If the whole society provides the necessary tools for a child for surviving and educate those children, this will affect the whole society.

Functionalism theory may rely on building the order of a society. If a society is not having any order, then it must something for regaining the order. For side of children, a child should seek for counseling when they are experiencing the deviant behaviour. Guidance and counseling are the way for the society which will try to regain the order. Thus, the every part of the society gets affected as a whole.

Views Of Society

Normally, the American family is composed of two parents like mother and father, and they have a single or many children. With the family institution, the three theories of sociology like functionalism, conflict, and interactionism were experienced. Here it is explained how each theory will be applied to the institution family. These theories explains that a family is composed of husband, wife, and their five children.

In functionalism theory, the children may require to offer the financial and emotional support for the family. For example, when in the case of parents were unemployed. In interactionism theory, the advancement of technological has been provided and an effective tool is determined for the awareness and knowledge concerning various social interactions. The conflict theory of the social institution like family affects the views of the members in the family for contexting the following conflicts disagreements as the two parties of conflicts may view each other in different way. These are about the theories affecting the views of society.

  All the seven members of the family has individual responsibilities and roles to abide and for keeping family members lives in balance. The father of a family contributes financially for the bills and maintaining the disciplines of the children. The wife of a family contributes necessities of the financial for cleaning and cooking.

The five children belong to the family institution were responsible for getting the assignments from school and should be done. They should also keep their own personal areas of the house in order and clean. Functionalism can be experienced in our home when all the family members plays their own part and taking good attitudes. If the functionalism is really experienced, there will be unity and peace in the home.


It was concluded that although the sociological theories were different, they had been helped in examining various effectiveness of behaviours of the society and that have been impacted the social institution family greatly. These theories had helped them to examine how the functioning of society is done and how they interacts with family members. More than this, the sociological theories had influenced social institutions of the society like families. The theory of conflict has been used for explaining the sources of the conflict about the society and how to deal and avoid them.

The functionalism theory helped to understand how different parts in the family function and society are together brought to change and stability. The interactions theory explained about the social interactions of the society. The family mainly helps in socialization and reproduction on the society. Families are teaching their young children how they should behave based on their social norms and cultural beliefs. More than this, a family helps for controlling of sexual behaviours on the society and provision of status on social. The family has to function well and to avoiding affecting the other components of the society like economic, education, and health care.


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