Sociolgy unit 1 Dicussion

1 Explain how each of the three major theoretical paradigms discussed in this section (structural functionalism, symbolic interactionism, and conflict theory) might be used in looking at the issue of inequality and share some examples.

[A] Structural functionalism looks look at how society as a whole function. Using structural theory to look at the issue of Inequality could be how business owners offered job opportunities unequally due to a person’s background, e.g. race or religion, even when they are qualified to do the job. Another example would be how children whose parents could not afford to pay for a better school end up with less educational opportunities than children from an affluent family.

[B] Symbolic interactionism looks at how individuals or small groups interact with each other within their society. An example of Inequality using symbolic interactionism would be among a group of teenagers that came from different economic background. E.g. teenagers who went for an adventurous experience to different places over school holidays because their parents could afford while the other teens who come from less fortunate families would stay at home over the school holidays. These economic differences could cause conflict between these groups of children because of the way they could talk or treat each other.

[C] Conflict Theory looks at how society strives for resources of which some individuals obtained more than others. Looking at Inequality using conflict theory would be underpayment from business owners to a hard-working individual so they can save money for their advantage through workers’ unfair payment

  1. Using the sociological imagination, how might one explain the personal trouble of experiencing an eating disorder? The sociological imagination is looking at things from another person’s viewpoint. If one wants to understand someone eating disorders, first of all, they have to ask themselves questions and consider how the Disorder come about in the first place? What are some of the things that might have contributed to developing the eating disorder? Eating Disorder could be a result of society’s perception of certain things, for example, people who are heavy weighted. Alternatively, it could be a result of peer pressure of which one could view themselves if they are a little plump compared to the ones who are slim. Society expectations on certain things create pressure on individuals who sees themselves in different lenses.

  2. How can sociological theories be beneficial when studying various groups or institutions within a society? Provide some examples which support your claims. The benefits of Sociological theory is that it gives researchers insight and understanding of social issues. Sociological Theory looks at what motivates certain behaviours from individuals, or micro/ macro groups. It creates awareness on issues and draws what needs to be done to bring social change within society.

  3. Why is it so vital to follow ethical standards and guidelines when conducting sociological research? Can you think of a time when ethical guidelines were violated during scientific research? Please share some examples.

Sociology researcher needs to follow ethical guidelines for the findings to be accurate and valid without personal opinion or bias. Moreover, the researcher needs to be mindful, respectful, and be honest, so they do not cause any harm physically or psychologically to their subjects. For the safety of their subjects, research should keep Anonymity and the confidentiality of the information they obtained. Massive harm could be caused to subjects if a researcher does not follow ethical guidelines. For example, a study was conducted in 1932 by the U.S public health service on black men who had syphilis in Tuskegee, Alabama, when there was no cure to the disease existed. When the scientists discovered that penicillin could cure syphilis a few years later, the government Scientists decided not to use it on black men because it could end their research of which they continue to carried out until 1970. A lot of black men go untreated, and some lost their lives as a result of syphilis.

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