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Word Count: 1,300
Sociology is the scientific study of society and human behavior Websters Dictionary defines a perspective as a view of things in their true relationship or importance Therefore the sociological perspective provides viewpoints used to look at human behaviors and interactions as they relate to individuals and groups within a society The sociological perspective stresses that to understand humans not what is inside of them but instead the external factors influencing them should be observed There are several theoretical perspectives in sociology that are used to understand social relationships and behaviors The three theoretical perspectives discussed here are symbolic interactionism functional analysis and conflict theory Symbolic interactionism is a microsociological theoretical approach that examines small-scale patterns of social interaction Interactionists focus on how humans use symbols signs gestures language to develop views of the world others and themselves as well as the importance of these symbols in social interaction and communication Interactionists also believe that humans use these symbols to define the self by comparing themselves to others and by constantly adjusting their view of themselves Interactionists see reality as being negotiated based on shared agreements and perceptions about events and therefore reality is not stagnant but instead fluid ever changing Also symbolic interactionists try to understand how an individual feels in order to understand why they act the way they do For example many female babies are killed in India To understand why they are killed Interactionists look at what makes people kill them Raising a girl is very expensive in India The meaning that Indians attach to the birth of a baby girl is that of a burden to the family However western cultures tend to think of every child as a gift and a blessing no matter what gender A doctor interviewed for a TV documentary said that she does not report families that kill their infant girls because it is a generally accepted societal practice A lot of
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