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Compare and Contrast Functionalist and Marxist Perspectives Sociology is a systematic way of studying the social world It seeks to discover the causes and affects of intercommunication and interaction that arise in social relations The science of society was developed as a discipline in the 19th Century by Auguste Compte a French philosopher For him common sense and the obvious would not suffice he wanted to build scientific theories based on critical awareness of society The two main stems of sociological concepts are Positivism and Phenomenology Both Functionalism and Marxism are Positivist theories This means that philosophies are built by using scientific research methods to create structural perspectives Positivism is called macro sociology because it looks at society holistically it also emphasises the power of Society and how this effects mans behaviour Positivism was a philosophy from the Modern Era when society was industrial Englands culture untolerating the mass media conservative and pro-establishment Role in society was extremely important it was traditional and genders specific Functionalism provided a static view of society It was rooted in the work of Emile Durkheim a French Sociologist and during the later stages Talcott Parsons Although functionalism was not a dominant theoretical perspective in sociology until the 1940s and 1950s it first emerged during the 19th Century Marxism was founded by a German philosopher economist and sociologist Karl Marx Fredrich Engels also contributed to development the works Marxism offered a radical alternative to the functionalism perspective and was developed in the 1970s Both perspectives of Marx and Durkheim aspired for a Utopian society Functionalism views society like a biological organism The parts or institutions of the organism or society function appropriately to ensure the whole structure works efficiently and effectively The whole has greater power than the individual parts The three main aims and objectives of functionalism are to maintain order stability and equilibrium in society Marxism became increasingly influential due to
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