Comparing and contrasting the major theoretical approaches

When watching the local or world news, you may quickly become aware that there are certain social problems such as violence, drug addiction, poverty, unemployment, etc. that are plaguing our nation. One approach that can be taken in explaining these social problems is to blame the victim, or to show how an individual’s choices are making these issues worse. A second approach of viewing these problems would be that of a sociologist. A sociologist views society’s influence on the individual, and how this influence leads to the social problems that we face today.

In this discussion, we are going to take a deeper look at the social world by comparing and contrasting the major theoretical approaches and then classifying the elements that define and influence various cultures. In your post, respond to the following prompts:

Which of the theoretical approaches (such as functionalist, conflict, symbolic interactionist, postmodern, etc.) do you feel is most accurate when describing the social world and the social problems within it? You can list more than one. Please explain your selection(s). How do the major elements of culture (language, norms, values, and beliefs) shape and influence society? How do these elements influence someone’s decision to join a gang, act out in violence, or choose to abuse drugs?

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