Chapter summary imageMacro and Micro Orientations

What elements create the social structures?

  • Social structures are made up of different elements – culture, social class, status, roles, and social institutions.

What are the characteristics of social interaction?

  • Social interaction refers to all the ways people behave and communicate in social situations.

How do the four perspectives view the social structures and social interaction?

  • functionalism: social institutions serve essential functions in a society
  • conflict theory: the structure and culture of society generally benefit the dominant group
  • symbolic interactionism: society is created and defined through communication and social interaction
  • feminist theory: the social structure is patriarchal and benefits men more than women

How can social policies improve society?

  • high-quality preschool programs improve the lives of the participants and decrease the amount of funding needed for other social programs (special education, welfare)