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North South University (NSU)

Course SOC 101 (AAu)

Professor, Department of Sociology University of Dhaka

ASM Amanullah PhD (Sydney) Visiting Professor, NSU


Lecture 3 Major Schools of Sociology

Structural Functionalism Conflict Theories

Symbolic Interactionalism


The process by which species of organisms arise from earlier life

forms and undergo change over time through natural selection.

The modern understanding of the origins of species is based on the

theories of Charles Darwin combined with a modern knowledge of genetics based on the work of Gregor Mendel.

A process of development and change from one state to another, as of the universe in its development through time.
A Closer Look Darwin's theory of evolution by natural

selection assumed that tiny adaptations occur in organisms constantly over millions of years. Gradually, a new species develops that is distinct from its ancestors.
In the 1970s, however, biologists Niles Eldridge and

Stephen Jay Gould proposed that evolution by natural selection may not have been such a smooth and consistent process.
(The American Heritage Science Dictionary Copyright 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Structural Functionalism

The structural-functional-or, more simply, functionalist-

perspective sees society as a system.

Functionalists identify the structural characteristics and

functions and dysfunctions of institutions, and distinguish between manifest functionsand latent functions.
Functionalists also typically assume that most members of

a society share a consensus regarding their core beliefs and values (Check detailed lectures).

Conflict Theories

The conflict approach draws much of its inspiration from the

work of Karl Marx and argues that the structure of society and the nature of social relationships are the result of past and ongoing conflicts.
Conflict theories are perspectives in social science which

emphasize the social, political or material inequality of a social group, which critique the broad socio-political system, or which otherwise detract from structural functionalism and ideological conservativism.
Conflict theories draw attention to power differentials, such as

class conflict, and generally contrast historically dominant ideologies.

Of the classical founders of social science, conflict

theory is most commonly associated with Karl Marx (1818-1883).

Based on a dialectical materialist account history,

Marxism posited that capitalism, like previous socioeconomic systems, would inevitably produce internal tensions leading to its own destruction.
Marx ushered in radical change, advocating

proletarian revolution and freedom from the ruling classes.

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary re-constitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes. Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto 1848 (Check detailed lectures)

Types of conflict theory

Conflict theory is most commonly associated with Marxism, but

as a reaction to functionalism and the positivist method may also be associated with number of other perspectives, including:

Critical theory Feminist theory Postmodern theory Post-structural theory Postcolonial theory Queer theory World systems theory Game theory Phronetic social science

(Check detailed lectures)

Symbolic Interactionalism

Symbolic interactionists contend that society is

possible because human beings have the ability to communicate with one another by means of symbols.
They say that we act toward people, objects,

and events on the basis of the meanings we impart to them.

Consequently, we experience the world as

constructed reality.
(Check detailed lectures)


Postmodernism is a complicated term, or set of

ideas, one that has only emerged as an area of academic study since the mid-1980s.
Postmodernism is hard to define, because it is a

concept that appears in a wide variety of disciplines or areas of study, including art, architecture, music, film, literature, sociology, communications, fashion, and technology.
It's hard to locate it temporally or historically,

because it's not clear exactly when postmodernism begins.

From a literary perspective, the main characteristics of modernism include: 1. an emphasis on impressionism and subjectivity 2. a blurring of distinctions between genres, so that poetry seems more documentary (as in T.S. Eliot or EE Cummings) and prose seems more poetic (as in Woolf or Joyce). 3. an emphasis on fragmented forms and discontinuous narratives 4. a rejection of elaborate formal aesthetics in favor of minimalist designs (as in the poetry of William Carlos Williams) and a rejection, in large part, of formal aesthetic theories, in favor of spontaneity and discovery in creation. 5. A rejection of the distinction between "high" and "low" or popular culture, both in choice of materials used to produce art and in methods of displaying, distributing, and consuming art.
(Check detailed lectures)

See also: Postmodernism in Hypermodernity

Hypermodernism (art) Post-anarchism Posthumanism Postmodernist anthropology Post-processual archaeology Postmodern architecture Postmodern art Postmodern Christianity Postmodern dance Postmodern feminism Postmodernist film Postmodern literature Post-Marxism Post-materialism Postmodern music Postmodern philosophy Postmodernism in political science Postpositivism Post-postmodernism Postmodern social construction of nature Postmodern theatre Post-structuralism

Baird, Forrest E.; Walter Kaufmann (2008). From Plato to Derrida. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-158591-6.
Marx, K .and F. Engels (1848) The Communist Manifesto, introduction by Martin Malia (New York: Penguin group, 1998), pg. 35 ISBN 0-451-52710-0

Durkheim, E. (1938). The Rules of Sociological Method. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. p. 67, 7081.
Knapp, P. (1994). One World Many Worlds: Contemporary Sociological Theory (2nd Ed.). Harpercollins College Div, pp. 228246.

Collins, Randall (1994). Four Sociological Traditions: Selected Readings. Oxford University Press.. ISBN 0-19-508702-X.

(Pls. Check detailed lectures)


North South University (NSU)

Course SOC 101 (AAu), Summer

Prof ASM Amanullah PhD (Sydney)

University of Dhaka Visiting Professor, NSU


MacIver and Page Society is a system of usages and

procedures, authority and mental aid, of many groupings and divisions, of controls of human behavior and of liberties.
Professor Wright - Society is not only a group of

people, it is the system of relationship that exits between the individual of the groups.
Arnold Green A society is the larger group to which

any individual belongs.

Characteristics of society:
1. Society consists of people 2. Society is a wave of social relationship

3. Mutual interaction and mutual awareness

4. Society depends on likeness 5. Society rests on difference also 6. Society depends on Cooperation and Division of Labor 7. Society is dynamic and changeable 8. Society implies interdependence also 9. Society is a system of integrated parts 10. Society is abstract 12. Society is wider 13. Society is a permanent organization

Types of Society:
Societies are classified from two basic view

points. They are;

1. Non- Marxist View 2. Marxist View

1. Non- Marxist View

i. ii. iii. iv. v. Hunting and gathering stage Horticulture Society Pastorals Agricultural Society Industrial Society

2. Marxist View
I. Primitive Communism


Pastoral Society
Agricultural Society


Slave Society
Feudal Society


Capitalist Society

vii. Communist Society

B. Community:
Kingsly Davis Community is the smallest

territorial group that can embrace all aspects of social life.

Bogadus Community is a social group with

some degree of we-feeling and living in a given area.

Ogburn and Nimkoff A community is a group or

collection that inhabits in locality.

Elements of community:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Group of people Common life style Locality
Community always has a particular name

Community sentiment Community has a spontaneous growth Permanence

Difference between Society and Community :

Society 1. Society is relationship a wave of Community social 1. Community is a relationship of we feeling 2. Community is concrete 3. Community is smaller 4. Community holds same interests 5. Only likeness 6. Community motivational 7. In community there is only a religion 8. Nature and scopes are limited 9. Only one occupation are 10.Rules and regulations comparatively rigid are

2. Society is abstract 3. Society is wider 4. Society holds different interests 5. Both likeness and difference 6. Society is natural 7. In society there are many religions 8. Nature and scopes are unlimited 9. There may be many occupation 10.Rules and regulations comparatively liberal

Thank you