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Comparison of Functionalist Theory and Conflict Theory

Both the functionalist theory and conflict theory talk about social problems and its solutions. Functionalist theory focuses more on peace and order wherein it considers society as a system of interdependent segments such as religious groups, families and even economic organizations (“Traditional Sociological Paradigms”). On the other hand, conflict theory focuses on the fact that disagreements are normal phenomena and that a description of society include inequalities and competitive in nature (“Traditional Sociological Paradigms”).

Aside from that, functional theory believes in a sense that norms and values corresponds as elements of society while conflict theory expounds that interests would serve as foundation of life (“Conflict and Functional Theory”). In other words, in conflict theory, what is necessary is the furtherance of interests over values and norms in the society (“Conflict Theory”). Both theories differ on the way if society is as a whole.

On the part of the functionalist theory, society is considered as closely-knit or related with its segments or parts while conflict theory emphasizes that there is injustice in the society of whatever kind and place. What holds society together then is that each part of the society like families, religious organizations and economic associations must function to maintain a peaceful environment. In addition, all segments of the society must have a general consensus in order to have a peaceful society (Todd 1).

All social system shares certain functional prerequisites which must be met if the system is to survive and operate efficiently (“Functionalist Theory”). Functionalist theory is the most interesting paradigm that can be used to solve the social problems in the United States. Families are expected to make sure that they live harmoniously so that it could reflect a better society. Religious organizations must see to it that the people continue in their faith so that peace can be achieved. The biggest group of institutions that can help in maintaining peace is the economic sector.

The reason behind that is the fact that when the people live in economic progress, there will be no chaos. People who are too poor and hopeless would not think to steal or rob other persons if there are other ways to survive. The government must settle on these issues by reflecting on the views just stated.

Works Cited

“Conflict and Functional Theory”. 2008. Runet Education. 17 September 2008 <http://www. runet. edu/~junnever/Theories. htm> “Conflict Theory”. 1998. Encyclopedia Website. 17 September 2008 <http://www. html> “Functionalist Theory”. 2006. Sociology Guide. 17 September 2008 <http://www. sociologyguide. com/social-stratification/Functionalist-theories. php> “Traditional Sociological Paradigms”. 2003.

Saint Mary’s. 16 September 2008 <http://stmarys. ca/~evanderveen/wvdv/introduction_to_sociology/traditional_soci ological_paradig. htm> Todd, Jason. “Functional and Conflict Theory: A Point of View”. 2008. Helium Website. 17 September 2008 < http://www. helium. com/items/779460-functional-and- conflict-theory-a-point-of-view>

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