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Functionalism and the conflict theory are sociological perspectives that present differing assertions of studying the society and how the resultant perspectives of the society. The functionalist perspective perceives the society as a system and on a large scale.  The functionalist perspective presents social molding of an individual rather than use of force to the individual in order to carry out societal roles.  Moreover, the functionalism perspective asserts that when members of the society cooperate with one another, they help in maintaining order in the society. In addition, functionalists perceive social transformation as being constructive and expected. The functionalist view also holds that each facet of society is mutually dependent and partakes in society's performance as a whole.

For instance, economic downturn with its high rates of price rises and joblessness causes changes that engrave social programs. During such a time, families stiffen their financial plans, schools provide less programs and a fresh constancy, efficiency and social order arise. However, functionalism has obtained disapproval for overlooking the pessimistic functions of an occurrence for instance divorce. Opponents also assert that functionalism validates the status quo and contentment regarding society's members. Moreover, the perspective does not support people to take a dynamic role in transforming their social conditions, despite such transformation benefiting them.

On the other hand, the conflict theory viewpoint views society as having a lot of fight and nervousness between different groups. This perspective asserts that authority and power greatly shape the individual.  Moreover, this perspective views force rather than cooperation as the key mover behind maintaining social order. Additionally, conflict theory asserts that social change is continually happening but not conventional. The major initiative of the conflict viewpoint is that there are opposing concerns between various groups and that social disparity is present. This means that there is a constant disagreement of some kind between the individual and the society.

More generally, the conflict theory standpoint centers on the pessimistic, inconsistency, and dynamic nature of society. Conflict proponents support social change, deem rich and influential people compel social order on the unfortunate and the feeble and confront the status quo. This is extremely different to the functionalists who suppose people collaborate to achieve social order, shun social change and protect the status quo. However, despite the propositions of the conflict theory, it is subject to various criticisms. The critics of this standpoint identify its excessively pessimistic outlook of the society. The theory eventually features capitalistic devises to direct the masses, not to innate concerns in conserving social order and society.

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