U.S. society a century

In analyzing the nature of United States today, we can use the sociological theories conceptualized by Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber which is the Conflict Theory, Functionalism and Interpretive Theory, respectively. Conflict Theory simply explains the relationship between the capitalists and the workers. The capitalist is the owner of the means of production. The main objective of a capitalist is to make more profit as possible and with this Karl Marx made the concept of alienation and exploitation. The theory is named conflict because of the conflict between the capitalists and the proletariats.

Proletariats are the workers; they are the one being exploited in exchange for a high profit income of the capitalist. On the other hand, Functionalism of Emile Durkheim explains the society as a single entity that if one is not functional then the whole entity will not function. Society is said to be driven by their similarities and differences. This tells us that the whole entity can perform different functions that cannot be performed by only its parts. Interrelationships among members of the society are the main focus of functionalism.

There must be a mutual interdependence on all aspects of society so that it would function well. Lastly, the Interpretive Theory of Max Weber simply explains the society in deep understanding and interpretation of mundane activities and their meaning. Basically, it is the interpretive understanding of the society by carefully analyzing their causal relationships and consequences. Rationalization of the society through the events that happen in our daily lives is being the determinant of how the people under that certain society would act.

For the case of America, Marx would look on how the economic trend of America is being achieved and how to show how conflict-driven the country is. For Durkheim, America would be analyzed according to the collective conscience the people have unconsciously been constructed. Lastly for Weber, America would be analyzed by the rationalization of social action based on status and privileges.


Frank, E. (1996). The Sociology of Max Weber. Retrieved on November 11, 2007 from http://www. faculty. rsu. edu/~felwell/Theorists/Weber/Whome. htm

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