Hence, society is comprised of individuals, social structure, and organizations competing for limited resources in reflection of the inherent inequalities (Andersen and Taylor 22). The theory uses inequality (economic) as an explanatory metaphor by stipulating that the bedrock of conflict in society is predominantly economic.
Symbolic interactionist theory infers a theoretical approach exploring the relationship between humans and society. The theory view communication (exchange of meaning via language and symbols) as the basis of how individuals make sense of their world. The fundamental concept of this theory is that human action can be understood via the exchange of meaningful communication or symbols (Brinkerhoff et al 30).
The most important part of society, according to structural functionalist theory, is social institutions that are functionally integrated to shape a stable system where change in one institution will orchestrate a change in another. Thus, the diverse parts of society are perceived to work in unconscious, quasi-mechanical way in pursuit of the overall social equilibrium.
Conflict theory sees the society as a competition for limited resources comprising of individuals who must compete for political, social, and material resources. Thus, the society is made up of classes of distinct groups with opposing interests. According to conflict theory, the society is in constant conflict over resources whereby some individuals and organizations possess more resources (power and influence) and employ those resources to sustain their positions of power in society (Dillon 56).
The core principles of symbolic interactionism details that human action is guided by meanings that individuals hold whereby meanings arise out of social interaction and that social action emanates from fitting together of individual lines of action. Thus,