People at the lower economic level are likely to be binge drinkers.
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The economic level: What economic level describes your living standard?
The response categories are lower, medium, and higher economic levels.
Drinking behavior: Do you consume alcohol heavily?
The categories of responses to heavy consumption of alcohol are ‘Yes’ or ‘No’
Basic Assumptions of the Theories and Their Applications
Structural functionalism assumes that society is a social system comprising hierarchical social structures (Stolley 23). The theory further assumes that social structures define functions such as norms, traditions, customs, and institutions (Appelrouth and Edles 349). The state of structures and their synergistic functions determine the effective functioning of the society. Structural-functionalism supports the hypothesis that people in lower economic levels are likely to be binge drinkers. The theory explains that people in lower economic levels live in poor neighborhoods where vices and crimes are common due to poor social structures and functions. Consequently, people in lower economic level endure stress and resort to binge drinking as a coping strategy.
Conflict theory assumes that humans in the society are in continual conflict because of the inequality, which compels them to fight for meager resources (Andersen and Taylor 21). Moreover, the theory holds that social order is subject to the domineering influence of the rich and powerful people who compel poor and powerless people (Turner 509). Hence, the conflict theory supports the hypothesis that people at lower economic levels are likely to be binge drinkers. The supportive explanation is that people at lower economic levels endure more deprived lifestyles for they struggle to satisfy their basic needs than people at higher economic levels.
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The conflict theory offers the best explanation of the hypothesis because it uses economic inequality in elucidating the behavior of binge drinking among people in different economic classes.
Appelrouth, Scott, and Laura Edles. Classical and contemporary sociological theory: Text and readings. Los Angeles, LA: Pine Forge Press, 2008. Print.
Andersen, Margaret, and Howard Taylor. Sociology: Understanding a diverse society. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2008. Print.
Stolley, Kathy. The basics of sociology. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2005. Print.
Turner, Jonathan. Handbook of sociological theory. New York, NY: Springer Science, 2006. Print.