The theory of functionalism proceeds from the assumption that social inequality is an intrinsic property of any typically developing social system. Durkheim has already justified in his work the idea that in each society, specific activities are given the highest preference, which lays the hierarchical structure of society (Schaefer 18). All functions of society are arranged in a hierarchical order: based on the hierarchy of social roles, the corresponding authority of social layers that perform these social functions is formed.
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In other words, from functionalism, no society can do without class stratification, because the unequal distribution of social benefits serves as a tool for solving tasks of placement and motivation of individuals in the social structure. It is concluded that social inequality is beneficial for society since the system of social stratification helps to fill all the statuses that make up this social structure.Famous functional theorists are Herbert Spencer, Talcott Parsons, and Robert C. Merton.
First of all, it is essential to note that there are many theories and hypotheses related to conflict studies. The Schaefer textbook offers students an accent on Karl Marx’s ideas in conflictology (19). Marxist theory of social conflict is based on a materialistic understanding of history. Marx argued that people enter into social interaction regardless of their will and that such cooperation is a fundamental condition for the formation of society. The development of society is based on the principle of dialectical law of unity and struggle of opposites.
Relations between classes of society are inherently problematic because of the existing system of resource distribution. Social conflict in conditions of acute class struggle is an inevitable phenomenon of public life. Famous conflict theorists are N. Machiavelli, Adam Smith, H. Hegel, Chrisberg, R. Darendorf, and L. Kozer.
The theory of social interactivity is a non-classical sociological paradigm that most fully represents the micro-sociological approach. Followers of this approach believe that people do not respond directly to external influences, but instead assign specific meanings to the stimuli affecting them. It is the summation of all interactions that creates society. The initial phase of interindividual interaction is a gesture or word (Schaefer 22). If the interacting individuals already have experience of communication, the gesture evokes the same response from all the interacting individuals, so the gesture becomes a symbol. Famous interacting theorists are George Mead, Charles Cooley, Howard S. Becker, Herbert Bloomer.
Schaefer, Richard T. Sociology: An introduction (5th Edition). McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1996.