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There are three identified major perspectives in sociology that aim to evaluate diverse social phenomena: “the symbolic interactionist perspective, the functionalist perspective, and the conflict perspective. These perspectives offer sociologists theoretical paradigms for explaining how society influences people, and vice versa”. The aim of the current essay is to apply two of the three sociological perspectives, particularly the functionalist and the conflict theories in the topic, drug and alcohol abuse among teenagers. The functionalist theory focuses on the interdependence of each aspect of society and a determination of how each aspect is contributory to its effective functioning. The Sociology Guide emphasized that the functionalist approach contends that “order, stability and cooperation in society are based on value consensus that is a general agreement by members of society concerning what is good and worthwhile” . On the other hand, the conflict theory “focuses on the negative, conflicted, and ever-changing nature of society. The conflict model holds that the most important aspect of social order is the domination of some groups by others, that society is best understood as an arena of actual and potential conflict, and that when things look peaceful, it is only because one faction controls or dominates a particular scenario. The conflict perspective to drug and alcohol abuse have been explained in terms of specifically identifying which drugs are illegal and therefore tend to be highly susceptible to abuse. According to Guerrero, “powerful political and business interest groups are able to manipulate our images of drugs and their uses. Heroin, opium, and marijuana were considered legal substances in the late 18th to early 19th centuries; but public opinion and law changed when their use was linked to ethnic minorities and crime” (191). The conflict theory has shown how society has discriminated on women of color with respect to drug abuse. Roberts (1991) has ...Show more
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There are three identified major perspectives in sociology that aim to evaluate diverse social phenomena: “the symbolic interactionist perspective, the functionalist perspective, and the conflict perspective…
Drug and Alcohol Abuse amongst Teenagers
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