Our interactions within society play a crucial in enhancing the social order that resulted in the creation of educational institutions such as Ohio State University. In the university, students are encouraged to focus on social cohesion where they help students from different backgrounds come together to ensure each individual has a great learning environment. An example of a social cohesion problem is when I found myself in a situation where I had to encourage a student who seemed not to be part of the Ohio State University group because of certain activities that go against their cultural practices. In this instance, I was supporting functionalism, which encourages cohesion between students so that everyone gets an ample opportunity to learn.
According to the functionalists, society is divided into social structures with each serving its essential purpose (Crossman, 2019). The school, family, and government all work together to ensure we have a functioning society where everyone gets what they are supposed to at each particular institution. Ohio State University functions as an institution that facilitates higher learning to students from different parts of the nation and the world. At Ohio State University, all the needs that a student wants are provided for by the institution and the government through maintaining security. In this theory, all the members of the society based on their respective duties in various social institutions try to protect the status quo provided by the social structure developed by each nation.
Ohio State University also serves as an institution where individuals socialize and learn about a different culture. Through my schooling in Ohio, I have been able to interact with individuals from different cultures and learn many things about them, such as communication and the way they conduct themselves as adults and kids (Crossman, 2019). Through this cultural exchange, I have also had to chance to talk about my culture and even transmit it to other students whom I interact with regularly.
The functionalist theory believes that society is a system where different social, institutional work together towards achieving the goal of unity and economic development. One of the critical parts of the functionalist system is the family set up where young ones are imparted with skills and knowledge that would enable them to become responsible members within the society.
Being responsible means respecting those in authority and focusing more on the longer-term goal rather than the short-term ones. The functionalist theory implies that one sector within the society plays a crucial role in influencing the others and through that contributes towards making the community better. An example of this is when more women got employment laws to combat sexual harassment was put in place. In this instance, the rise of women in employment pushed the instruction mandated to make laws to create rules to protect women while employed (Mooney, Knox & Schacht, 2014).
The functionalist theory believes that with the proper management of the social elements present in a given society, the chances of stability in such a community grows. Elements such as crime and other vices which result in the organization becoming dysfunctional serves as a benchmark through which strategies are introduced to curbed such problems in the future. There are two types of factions in this theory that is manifest and the latent. Manifest functions are the consequences that are set by society to be achieved, such as getting an education to be knowledgeable and skilled. Latent tasks, on the other hand, are the unhidden consequences that are not always intended by the social system (Mooney et al., 2014).
Despite the success in exercising social control, the functionalist theory still has some limitations. One of the disadvantages of the functionalist theory is the hidden agenda under the under of functionalism.
Many different groups use these institutions to further their agenda and profit at the expense of controlling the masses. The present social stability is dependent on the success of institutions such as family and schools, something which might crumble in the future, especially when the population grows. Another disadvantage is that it strives to promote the status quo and opposes any form of ideas that seek to change the existing social structure. Ohio state university, for instance, serves the purpose of providing education while the political institutions focus on ensuring there is order within the nation (Mooney et al., 2014).
The conflict perspective theory focuses more on ensuring that the different parts of the society work together within the nation to ensure there is a harmonious society. Unlike the functionalist society, the conflict perspective views the community as a place where different competing powers are seeking to take control of the few available resources (Mooney et al., 2014). Competition for the resources is what pushes people to conflict as those mostly in powerful positions benefit while the citizens are deprived. The fight for control of the nation and managing resources is what drives people into conflict in the hope of ending the inequality.
Karl Max coined this theory based on the fact that society goes to a series of economic development. Changing from the agricultural to industrial society gave immense power to specific individuals through the different institutions in which they controlled. Because of industrialization, two classes of people have emerged who are the owners and the workers. Workers feel exploited, but they cannot blame their oppressors but rather comfort themselves that their situation is dues to God's plan (Mooney et al., 2014).
Today the conflict perspective theory is still evident as more people have become oppressed while a few are extremely rich. The competition for resources can be found in many areas of the society where different groups compete to take control of the grip of a few individuals. Today many political parties share put forward ideas to combat problems within the community mainly to deal with the conflict of resources.
The conflict perspective views society as divided into two categories the rich and the poor. These categories have come up as a result of the changes from agricultural to the industrialization, which, as a result, produces owners and workers. It is how these people who are, in most instances, exploited that result in conflict. Conflict comes from a wide range of issue that affects the population, such as discrimination, poverty, and many forms of violence. According to conflict theory, there are different categories of conflicts that arise within society. Each class within the community from the wealthy to the working class all strive to protect their interests through influencing various aspects of the nation's institutions.
The conflict theory is also based on several assumptions about society. In conflict theory, the community is assumed to compete at all times. The competition arises as a result of the scarcity of the continued lack of available resources within the society. The competition also comes as a result of changes in social status, which in turn affects how people relate within the community (Chappelow, 2019).
This theory also assumes there is structural inequality within the society because certain groups within the community benefit from being in power than the others. The conflict thus arises because the oppressed fight to get control of these structures while those in power device ways to hold onto it. Structural inequality is a common phenomenon in various nations, and it is still evident today where minorities even protest of structural imbalance within the country. Karl Max, in this theory, suggests that war is the only way to get rid of these inequalities. Many societies go into conflict before a solution is found to deal with the problems that led to the war (Chappelow, 2019).
Despite making some very valid explanations about the nature of societies, conflict theory still got some limitations, especially on the assumptions they make. One of the premises is that the poor people's problems within the community are usually caused by wealthy individuals who, in many employ people. The social control, in terms of humanitarian activities, according to the conflict theory, are all designed to control the masses. Responsible citizens who love their country will not view this as control but instead coming together for the common good of the society.
Chappelow, J. (2019). Conflict Theory Definition. Retrieved 7 October 2019, from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/conflict-theory.asp
Crossman, A. (2019). Everything You Need to Know About Functionalist Theory. Retrieved 5 October 2019, from https://www.thoughtco.com/functionalist-perspective-3026625
Mooney, L. A., Knox, D., & Schacht, C. (2014). Understanding social problems. Nelson Education.
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