Sociology – Functionalism

Sociology – Functionalism

Applied to Everyday Living Think Sociology, the textbook, defines Sociology as: the science guided by the basic understanding that “the social matters: our lives are affected not only by our individual characteristics, but by our place in the social world”. When using the sociological imagination it is imperative to be unbiased while assessing a situation, using great caution not to single out an individual, but examining all factors that may influence failure or success rates of a group or individual.

It would seem as though keeping an open mind would be difficult, in which people shape Opinions based on their experiences throughout life. However, while using the sociological imagination it enables a sense of freedom that allows room to be the “outsider looking in”. When using the sociological imagination in everyday life, for instance noticing a coworkers performance lacking in the quality or quantity that it used to possess. It would be important to consider using the symbolic intersections approach.

This style of observation and thinking allows the observer to focus on the interaction of a person in a typical setting within their society, and also focuses on the individual (micro). The symbolic interactions approach may determine whether the success rate of the coworker is due to an outside cause such as negative peers or whether they are no longer gaining satisfaction from employment within the company. It could very well be a combination and looking at the case as a whole would also incorporate functionalism.

Functionalism is the approach sociologists use to view society as a whole system of parts that work together. (Carl, 2011) Examples such as this are not isolated incidents. It is easy to forget that there are outside influences that may affect a person’s attitude. Using the sociological imagination in everyday living permits an individual to view the picture as a whole and analyze the different variables.

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