Sociology Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Sociology Case Study Solution


There are four major sociological perspectives on marriage and family that hold different view point and have strong stance in the sociological learnings.

These four perspectives include Functionalism, Conflict theory, Feminist theory and Symbolic theory of interaction.All these school of thoughts have different aspects and perspectives defining marriages and family and ways of sustaining marriages for societal betterment.

According to Functionalism theory, people or group or organizations look for events and circumstances that hold them together as one group.In doing so, the concept of marriage for holding group of people together to form a strong part of a certain society and development of a uniform society is being emphasized.According to functionalist, marriage is taken as the macro level factor in the formation and development of societies and thus focuses on small and big issues holding and also disturbing the marriages in the society.In short, the functionalist states marriages and family as an integral part of the society and emphasis the importance in holding the societies upright. (Murdock, 2011)

On the other hand, under the conflict theory on marriages, the behaviors and differences of people are studied that cause disputes and hence disturb the harmony and stability of family and marriage.According to Conflict perspective, the macro-level studies are formed based on the studies of ethnic groups, roles and acceptance in the society.Such school of thought proposed the question “how marriage does benefit the man and woman unequally.Since in different societies, the guidelines and cultural aspects that define marriages are different, the conflict theory studies the role of ethnicity and gender role in defining the perspective of marriage.In addition, this theory also proposes the un equal distribution of power between men and women in society in which men seeking to sustain the superiority and women trying to seize the power are taken as the factor of unequal marriage benefits thus leading to disputes in marriages. (Lumen, 2017)

On the other part,at micro-level, the theory of Symbolic-Interaction proposed the perspectives regarding marriage and family from an individual perspective.In doing so, the particular school of thought basis its findings on the fundamentals of how the men and women communicate and interact in a society they live in.Since society forms the mindsets and vice versa, the impact of society, culture is analyzed on individual thinking under particular circumstances.Such school of thought base its findings or thoughts on question such as “what do people think about marriage?”Such school of thought pursues the inside out strategy to address marriages and finds out the difference in opinion about marriage under different societies and under different conditions(LUMEN, 2017).



According to functionalism theory, families are the key organization that keep the societies stable.In developing the stance, the functionalist proposed the theory that it is the family and its members that due to their certain roles wins the family and outside, plays a vital role in stabilizing the society, making a prosperous development in it.

Sociology Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Also, it proposes the theory that people connect with each other based on the family status that leads to marriages.According to George Murdock,there are four functions of a family i-e sexual, reproductive, educational and economic.According to the theory,these four factors regulate the state of marriage in the society. The need for sexual relation and reproduction leads to marriages in society.Though he does not deny the existence of extra marital affairs and pre-marital affairs, but emphasized on the social acceptability and legitimate outlet for adults.Such legitimate outlets give a way to reproduce and hence render as a necessary part of survival in the society.

In addition, the co-existence of family also plays a vital role in training the children for adult roles.It is the family that trains the child certain norms, beliefs and attitudes that ultimately become a part of his personality and thus make certain societal impact.In addition, these are the families that define the gender roles and are very important in making up the society.For example, the families define the role of males as instrumental.(Murdock, 2011)

The males are required to perform the outside roles and support the family financially. While women in family are perceived to show the expressive roles which provide emotional support and physical care for children.According to functionalist, such differentiation of roles keeps the families well-balanced and stabilized in the society.Though such definition of roles changes from society to society, however the main agenda of functionalism defines the particular roles of males and females.

Conflict theory

Conflict theory base its foundation on the learning derived from role of power.These theorists proposed that families with in a society exert particular force on society and on the government.This theory proposed that under the family setting, people presume the power centered in their hands and not in the government. Since in the US, families are guided by the strict parenting laws, such power difference creates conflict among the individuals within the family and also affects the societal stability...............

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