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10 Sociology Theories You Should Know About

By Alexia Wolker

There are a lot of theories regarding the ways people handle their relationships and function in society in general. Sociological theory is all about propositions that can be tested. It has objectives that avoid judgmental thinking by basing the results on research and actual experiments. There are a lot of theories that you should know about when you are tasked to write sociology essays, want to study in this field, or have just an interest in the topic. Social theories were created for people to make sense of why others behave the way they do. Some of these are to understand the self when it comes to interacting with others, to know more about how to act in gatherings, or how to communicate with relatives or friends.

Here are some of the most involving sociological theories...

10 Social Theories that Exist

  1. Conflict Theory
    This is popularized by Karl Marx. He conjectured that the society exists because there is domination. The strong typically command the weak, and everyone competes for food, shelter, and other resources in order to survive.
  2. Theory about Feminism
    Women have been given importance in society because of their contribution. The feminist movement aims to show and explain women’s social standing in today’s world. They should be equal to men and face no gender discrimination in society.
  3. Labeling Theory
    This aims to understand deviancy in society. There are instances where a teen living in the suburbs surrounded with bullies will be labeled as a bully. As a result, he or she will start to act like one. This can be rampant in people who have low self-esteem.
  4. Structural Strain Theory
    This is a part of the functionalist movement that tackles deviancy. This theory argues that people become deviant if there’s a mismatch between their common cultural goals and the means of reaching the aim. Some people in the United States want to own their homes. In the US, in order to have your own home, one should normally study, graduate, and have a job. A person may become deviant by not following social norms.
  5. Game Theory
    In game theory, people tend to look at their wins, losses, and strategies when dealing with another person. Some view their life as a zero-sum game. This means that if they win, then the other person has to lose. The game theory also attempts to explain how people behave when dealing with different situations. The behaviors may even be predictable if the situation is the same as the game being studied.
  6. Functionalist Theory
    Functionalists believe that every system in the society works to maintain harmony. The education system promotes knowledge, politics exist to maintain law and order, families are responsible in nurturing children as well as reproducing population for the community and religion provides the belief that there is a higher power that needs to be worshiped.
  7. Critical Theory
    This is where movements and rallies are common. The critical theory sees everything with critics’ eyes. This means that it addresses the possible problems in society and people who believe in this theory try to correct something they believe is wrong.
  8. Theory about Social Learning
    There are theories about social learning that attempt to explain the results of individual’s attempts on self-actualization. This is where the endeavor to interpret the self’s development comes in. This theory is even useful when it comes to crime and deviancy that are present in society.
  9. Theory of Rational Choices
    This is the theory that attempts to explain most consumers’ choices when it comes to shopping and money. There are people who are living their life looking for the profits and things that can benefit them. They generally analyze the results of the actions before undertaking certain investments. When they do something, it can be because they have thought about it a great deal, and they took the plunge, knowing that it benefits them in the long run.
  10. Sociobiology
    This is where the social behavior of human evolves. There are certain habits that improved since the start of natural selection, and sociologists attempt to study it. They believe that some of the recurrent behaviors were inherited from the first humans that lived on earth.

There are a lot of other theories that are present in sociology. There are still theoretical traditions such as symbolic interactionism, conflict, functionalism and utilitarianism that are considered. However, the theories are developing in nature. This means that there might be more to come in the future because some sociologists believe something is lacking.

As with the case of feminism, many theories evolved over time because it benefits society in the long run. This is why it is important to study sociology while you are in university because it can greatly impact the way you will interact with your future colleagues, enemies, or friends as well as lead your life in general.


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