Sociological There Are Three Main Sociological Perspectives Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :


There are three main sociological perspectives based on which health care will be discussed in this paper. These perspectives include functionalism, conflict and symbolic interactions. These are the three perspectives that can give a better insight into the healthcare.


Functionalism is when various units of the society come together and form a single unit in order to perform various functions. Functionalism is defined as the theory of mind in terms of contemporary philosophy. The theory was developed as an important alternative to the identity theory of mind as well as behaviorism. One of the main facts highlighted by the theory is that all functional roles are the founders of the mental states of an individual as belief, pain as well as desires. These mental states are the causal relations of the other mental states that include sensory inputs and behavioral outputs. Functionalism can thereby be defined as the theoretical leveling between the behavioral output and physical implementation. The theory is based on the fact that all individuals have a purpose in the society. There are certain functions of the family, as well as the churches. It is believed by the functionalists that the functions that are played by families or churches play important roles in serving the people.


The concept given by theory of conflict is that the society functions in such a way that each individual and groups works in such a way those advantages are maximized. These contributions work in such a way that revolutions are seen in the field of politics. The theory explains the conflicts that exist between various different kinds of social classes that include proletarian classes as well as bourgeois classes and various different theories that include socialism as well as capitalism. One of the main facts that need to be mentioned here is that conflict tends to refuse functionalism that believes that single individuals play more important roles in the society, rather the groups of individuals.

Symbolic interactionism

There are three main perspectives given by the theory of symbolic interactionism. Firstly, all individuals act towards things in the same way, as the things are perceived. The meanings of these things are derived from the social interactions that the person has with other individuals. Thirdly, and most importantly, the meaning of these things is derived from the interpretations of the individuals from the ways in which the individual deals with these things. One of the main facts that need to be mentioned here is that social interaction is more of a constructivist approach in order to make sure that there is an understanding in the individuals in relation to the building of the social life with the help of the interactions that take place with each other. Thereby one of the main concepts that have been given by the kinds of the social interactions that the individuals have. Meanings of the things that surround the individuals are derived from the social interactions that the individuals have in the society. How self-identities are constructed and how on the based on these meanings, self-identities are created by these individuals. Mainly the theory has defined that the ways in which the individuals react in the situations is more based on the way in which the situations are perceived by the individuals.

Functionalism and healthcare

America's healthcare industry is one of the largest industries. One of the main facts that need to be mentioned here is that importance of health and healthcare is understood by the functionalists. One of the main and most important areas in which functionalism has been implemented especially in the field of healthcare is in the case of patient and doctor relationship. This relationship is one of the most important part of the healthcare as doctors are required to communicate with the patients in order to deliver better healthcare. All the needs and treatments of the patients are looked after by the doctors. These are the relationships that also define the various levels of politics that occur at the level of hospitals and healthcare. The politics in healthcare is more defined by the public interest and the authority in the hospitals as well as healthcare (Buechner, 2008, p. 43).

Applications in healthcare

One of the main theories that hold great importance in the field of healthcare is the Parson's concept of sick role. According to this theory, when functionality of the social system is taken into account, when the general level of health is too low and the level of incidence of illness is too high; it defines the failure of the healthcare system. This is because of the fact that illness is the main reason of the failure of social roles that are played by the societies. Thereby, one of the main facts that can be seen is that health has been defined in terms of the normal functions that can be performed by the individual within the society. Health is also defined by the fact of how role obligations are fulfilled by the individual. Thereby, it cannot be argued here that illness is a pure biological function.

Functionalism affecting the views of an individual in health care

Functionalism defines the sociology in terms of individual beliefs. Healthcare is also based on the beliefs that are incorporated by the doctors and patients on an individual level. These are the beliefs that are known to be imparted in the healthcare systems by the doctors and patients. There are certain beliefs of the doctors as well as the patients on an individual level that are used to define and make policies.

Functionalism affecting the approach to social change within health care

The individual beliefs that are imparted by the doctors as well as the patients are the ones that can be used for policymaking. The newer policies can bring better changes in healthcare (Buechner, 2008, p. 91).

How does functionalism affect the views of society

Functionalism describes the way in which the belief of an individual can bring changes in the society. The beliefs and the power of interpretation of an individual has been given more importance by functionalism. Thereby, there has been an increased acceptance in the society of the concepts given by functionalism, especially in relation to changes that can be brought by these individual beliefs (Lang, and Moleski, 2010, p. 65).

Theory of conflict and healthcare

One of the main facts believed by the conflict theory is great social changes can be forced by richer and more privileged people on the poor and less privileged people in the society. Thereby, there is great negativity in the concepts given by theory of conflict.

Applications in healthcare

Classic pyramid structure is followed by the conflict theory. The more powerful and privileged institutions are the ones that dictate the terms to the masses. These institutions include lawmakers, policymakers and political institutions. In healthcare, all policies that are finally designed or changed are based on the advices and contributions of the higher authorities and privileged ones (Sitton, 1996, p. 89).

Conflict theory affecting the views of an individual in health care

If there is an increased implementation of conflict theory in the field of healthcare, the common man and his needs would not be taken into account. The changes or any new policies that are made in healthcare will only highlight what's needed by the privileged ones and the richest in the society. Thus a rich individual can think of having more power within the society as compared to those with fewer privileges. Healthcare is more based on the needs of the patients that are in a need to be realized by the doctors as well as the policymakers. The needs of less privileged patients are different as compared to the needs of more privileged patients. These are the differences that need to be taken into account. When changes are being made in the field of healthcare, these changes should be based on the needs of both rich and poor patients rather only the richer ones. There is no doubt about the fact that the negativity in the society will increase if the role of all in the society is not taken into account in a proper manner (Harris, and Joseph, 2003, p. 43).

Conflict theory affecting the approach to social change within health care

Social change in the case of theory of conflict can only be brought by the powers and privileges that are held by the powerful and richer people in the community. Thereby any social changes that are enforced are only based on the needs of the richer ones. Thereby, from here it can be understood that social change will be enforced when theory of conflict is followed.

How does functionalism affect the views of society

The theory of conflict has been known to increase negativity within the society. When there is a general idea within the society that all changes in the society will be based on the changes that are needed by the richer ones and by the…

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