Sociology Questions example

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Sociology Questions

A: Compare Marx and Weber's views on social class. How are they different?

Carl Marx perceived social class as a group of people who share same relation to the means of production, through which they provide their existence. In the modern industrial societies these means of production are presented by factories, offices, industrial equipment, as well as the capital needed to purchase them. Therefore, Marks outlined two main classes, those who own these means of production - industrialists and capitalists, and those who make their living by selling their labor - working class. According to Marx, the relationship between the classes are in the nature of exploitation (New York University). Much alike Karl Marx, Max Weber claimed that the representation of classes was directly connected to their economic capabilities presented by means of production. However, he outlines the economic differences, which are not directly related to the property as well. It is possible to highlight professional skills and qualification among these determining factors, which affect the ability of the person to perform his job. Moreover, he introduced two additional aspects of social class, including status and political party. The concept of status represents the varying degree of the group’s social prestige, while parties are defined as groups of people who work together because they have common origins, aims or interests.

B: Davis and Moore argue that the existence of social inequality is functional for society.

In what sense do they see social inequality as functional? What criticisms could be leveled against their argument?

According to functionalist theory of social inequality, which is presented by Davis and Moore (1945), inequality is inevitable and desirable component of a healthy and contemporary society. It has its own function as it splits the society into mandatory groups. The function has a particular value for the contemporary society, as it cannot exist in another way. The resources are limited; thus they need to be somehow distributed. Moreover, social positions motivate individuals to perform duties of their positions. Leading positions in the society require more skills and experience, consume more time and efforts, therefore they should be paid more. The sociologists perceive social inequality as the matter of positions, not the individuals themselves. The only negative side of the theory lies in the fact that less essential positions do not compete successfully with more essential ones.


1. From a functionalist perspective, what functions do families serve?

Functionalist theory perceives every element of society in terms of which contribution does it make towards stability of the whole society. The whole society is not the combination of its part, but rather a sum of functions, which ensure its stability. From this perspective, family has economic function, sexual function, education function and reproductive function (Murdock).

2. From a conflict perspective, what inequalities do families perpetuate?

According to conflict theory, a family is not just a social entity of children and married couples, but a …

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