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Some Sociologists, known as structural theorists, emphasize the importance of institutions in providing
social stability and regulating social action.
Other Sociologists, known as social-action theorists, argue that individuals have more freedom than
structural theorists suggest.
Functionalists tend to analyze institutions by looking at the contribution that institution makes to
maintenance of social order.
Exploitation lies at the heart of the capitalist system – the Bourgeoisie, who are the extreme minority, are
wealthy because they exploit the proletariat.
According to Marxists the education system reproduces class inequality while at the same time
legitimating class inequality by teaching pupils there is equality of opportunity (when in reality there is
Sociology includes three major theoretical perspectives: the functionalist perspective, the conflict
perspective, and the symbolic interactionist perspective (sometimes called the interactionist perspective,
or simply the micro view).
(FUNCTIONALISM) For example, each of the social institutions contributes important functions for
society: Family provides a context for reproducing, nurturing, and socializing children; education offers a
way to transmit a society’s skills, knowledge, and culture to its youth; politics provides a means of
governing members of society;
(FUNCTIONALISM) economics provides for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and