Sociologial Analysis of Christmas

Topics: Sociology, Conflict theory, Structural functionalism Pages: 3 (844 words) Published: October 31, 2012

In this paper I will discuss Social Theories such as Structural Functionalism, Conflict theory; with emphasis on Karl Marx’s early work and how it relates to the conflict theory and Symbolic interaction. I intend to define and discuss relevant sociological terms of these theories and how these theories could apply to my favorite holiday which is Christmas.

Structural Functionalism as defined by Functionolists such as Auguste Comte and Herbert Spencer, believe that society is a whole unit made up of many related parts, each having its own function. In order for society to maintain equilibrium or balance all parts must fulfill their function. If their function is not performed society is in an abnormal state.

Sociologist Robert Merton (1910-2003), used the word functions, to describe beneficial consequences of society’s actions; on the other hand dysfunctions are harmful consequences of these actions. Functions help keep society in balance. Functions can be either Manifest, which it is a deliberate action that helps some part of the system or Latent, unintended consequences.

Let’s take a look at how Structural functionalism can be applied to my favorite holiday Christmas, according to functionalists. Structural Functionalism is a system with structure and order and each part has a duty to fulfill. Christmas too many religious and cultural groups are an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, generally celebrated on December 25th. If we start to see Christmas on the calendar right after Halloween in October, we would assume that this calendar is miss printed because we related Christmas to December which is after November. The order of the Calendar reminds society of when we are to expect holidays.

Next we will take a look into the Conflict theory. After witnessing the Industrial revolution, and how peasants left the city to work and were still barely making enough money to eat, Karl Marx, the...
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