Essay on Sociological Theories: Explaining Social World and Predicting Future Events

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1721 Words
Date:  2023-01-16


Sociological theories are the statements that illustrate why and how some particular facts concerning the social world have a relationship. They are different in the scope from the descriptions which are concise of a process which is single socially top the analysis of paradigms and the interpretations. Some of the sociological theories tend to give explanations of the different aspects of the world and then enable future events predictions (Swidler 7). On the other hand, other theories act as the broader perspective, which gives a guideline for further sociological analyses. Therefore the discussion is goi8ng to be bases on the theory of Talcott Parsons and that of Ann Swidler by giving the comparison between the two.

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Ann Swidler theory is one of the most prominent theories of sociology. The main aspect which is looked at by Ann Swidler is the culture in action; the symbols and the strategies. She argues that instead of just forming norms which are internalized controlling behavior, just as Talcott Parson argues, culture entails the collection that individuals draw on in order to finish some particular strategies of action.

Parson viewed culture in the following ways; in order to analyze the causal effects of culture; the focus is on the strategies of action. He sees the causal significance of the culture by not only in the definition of the end of action but in providing the components of culture that are used in constructing the strategies of action.

Culture as values

Human beings are found to be motivated by material interests. Talcott Parsons, in his view, argued that the values are the essence in which the societies are constituted of. Parson describes the actor who makes situational choices which are governed by the normative regulations of the ends and means of action and are limited by the objective conditions. The cultural tradition provides the value orientation according to Talcott Parson.The value is viewed as the aspects of the symbolic systems which are shared and serve as a standard for the choice among the orientation alternatives which are open in a situation intrinsically. Therefore, culture interferes with the actions of the human through the values that move it some end instead of others.

Ann Swidler, on the other hand, argues that the value theory just survives in part without any doubt. It is because of the plausibility, which is intuitive in the culture with an assumption that all the actions are ruled by some means. The action is shaped by culture when the wants of the people are defined.

Culture in action

Ann Swidler claims that the experience in the culture causes some reinforcement or the refinement of skills attitudes and habits are important for the strategies of action which are common. Even though the established ways of operating does not rely upon that immediate cultural support. Settled cultures thus do not impose a unit pattern of action which is unified in the aim of imposing styles, ends, values, and norms on the individual actors. Instead, the settled culture evokes action by providing some set of resources which are limited out of which the strategies of action are constructed by the individual.

Talcott Parson, on the other hand, establishes the action theory in order to integrate the social order study the voluntary aspects of micro and macro factors in the culture. He tries to keep the positivism rigor and appreciating the subjective dimensions of the actions of a human .Parson also considers ofmotivation as partof human actions.

The talk of Love: how culture matters

It tends to explain the reality of love in the relationship in the midst of the romanticized and idealized talk of love within the culture of America. Ann Swidler sees culture as something which is not usual in many ways. Instead of differentiating two groups with the different cultural perspective of love, it explains the culture of love between the homogenous middle-class groups in America. The uses of culture difference because some individuals just want to live a pure life. In that, every aspect of life must be monitored and made consistent with what they believe in. For the other individuals, most of their life is unmonitored even though the cultural traditions from the wedding to the bits of the mother's advice and with songs seem to make life very meaningful. Others still are cynical concerning the culture which many take for granted (Swidler, Ann and Julia 138).

Parson, on the other hand, illustrates the aspect of socialization. He states that socialization is all about learning from each other. The social control focuses mainly on the adjustment and defense with the movement towards others and self, and normally, the deviant behavior can be changed. Socialization also entails the appropriate acquisition orientation for satisfactory purposes is a learning process though it is only a particular kind of learning, not learning in general. The mechanisms of socialization identified by parson include; the reward-punishment, value acquisition, and instructions (Parson 10).

In relation to love, the independence for an autonomous attainment orientation, the capacity for universalism, neutrality which is effective and the specific in the function of the direct interest gratification of a person. Thus the integration of erotic needs with the value system of an adult clearly defines the difference between regressive sexuality and normal sexuality.

The learning of the social role expectation and the mechanisms of socialization of motivation

Parsons states that the social system is an active system. It is also a system of the action processes which are interdependent. The process is something which changes the state of a body. The main crucial point is that the personality mechanisms as a system are different as the social system mechanism because social systems and personality encompass two different classes of systems.

Motivation is also another factor which always moves in one or more of the individual actors. There is a need to set up a motivational mechanism which is of the social system and relate it with the machine classification of personality systematically. Thus, it must be known that the process of motivation is always the individual actor's processes. Therefore, its application implies that the social system mechanism problem comes out from the individual's knowledge, which has the habit of altering an established social system state (Holton 54).

In a nutshell concerning the motivation process, which is summarized by Parson in what is referred to as identification mechanisms, are applying extremely to the generalization, which is important. It can be viewed that the value orientation pattern can be internalized from out through the attachments of ego.

It then follows that the concept of any of the main pattern combination variables can be internalized as a result of the process of socialization. Culture and socialization normally go hand in hand because the extent to which an individual can socialize is determined by the culture. Just as Parson illustrates that the action of an individual depends on the level of motivation which can also result in some behaviors.

Similarities between the two theories

  • Both consider culture as a process which determines the action of an individual.
  • Both view culture as a toolkit for any operation that an individual undertakes towards achieving the set strategies.
  • Both theories expound more on the perceptions of different individuals when it comes to love life whereby some individuals prefer to get married while others prefer to remain pure.
  • Both theories explain the socialization aspect and how it is determined by different factors such as attitude, beliefs, skills, and motivation.

Social problem

In the contemporary world, there are different social problems that sometimes are as a result of lack of awareness. In using the theories to theorize the social problem that has experienced, the main aspect is gender-based violence. Gender-based violence has been an alarming social problem, which calls for more attention. The fact is that the socialization process that was initially there tended to bring some inequalities; thus, children grew to have that perception.

The socialization aspect brought about by Parson in children whereby they first interact with their parents is a very crucial aspect to consider. It is the duty of parents to nurture their children in a way that they can view each other as equal so that the issue of gender-based violence may be eliminated. The personality of an individual which interferes with the social system can also be rectified to children when they are still growing up. It is because the social system is the source of every activity or perception that an individual develops for him and for others (Holton 38). Therefore the only way to initiate it is to impart more training to children on how to socialize with others.

Lastly, considering culture in action, which is discussed in Ann's theory is also important because it requires equal sharing of resources. Once the culture has it that the available resources are shared equally regardless of gender, the issue of gender-based violence will be eliminated. It is high time for everyone to consider culture very seriously and the personalities and the social system within it to help in solving the rising social problems.


Therefore, there is need to come up with more theoretical ways which are sophisticated to help in thinking about the way culture shapes the actions of individuals. And how the interaction between culture and social structure is. The main focus on the cultural values has been more attractive to the sociology since it explains that not the material cir4cumstances but culture is very determinative. The major obstacle for the current sociology of culture is not to attempt the quantity in which action is shaped by culture (Holton 79).

Therefore, the sociologists need to look for the new ways that will allow more efficient concrete analysis of the manner in which culture is being used by the actors, how the elements of culture facilitate or constrain the action patterns and the specific changes of history undermine the vitality of the pattern of some culture and result in others.

Works Cited

Holton, Robert J. "Talcott Parsons and the theory of economy and society." Talcott Parsons on Economy and Society (RLE Social Theory). Routledge, 2014. 25-105.

Swidler, Ann, and Julia T. Wood. "Talk of love: How culture matters." Canadian Journal of Communication 28.1 (2003): 138.

Swidler, Ann. Talk of love: How culture matters. University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Talcott, Parsons. "The social system." (2013).

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