Outcome: Theoretical Perspectives on Government and Power

Describe the varying theoretical perspectives on government and power

Sociologists use frameworks to gain perspective on data and observations related to the study of power and government. Functionalism suggests that societal power and structure is predicated on cooperation, interdependence, and shared goals or values. Conflict theory, rooted in Marxism, asserts that societal structures are the result of social groups competing for wealth and influence. Symbolic interactionism examines a smaller realm of sociological interest: the individual’s perception of symbols of power and their subsequent reaction to the face-to-face interactions of the political realm.

What You’ll Learn To Do:

  • Understand how functionalists, conflict theorists, and interactionists view government and politics


The learning activities for this section include:

  • Reading: Theoretical Perspectives on Government
  • Self-Check: Theoretical Perspectives on Government and Power