Which Sociological Perspective ...?

The thought process for addressing test questions beginning "Which sociological perspective ... ":

1.   Does the question refer to a MACRO or MICRO level of analysis?

        Macro levels of analysis are concerned with elements of culture, large groupings of people (race, gender, age, class).  Institutions come into play here:  the health care and/or educational systems, government, the economy, etc.

        The Micro level of analysis is concerned with individuals and how they interact.  A small number of people is a restaurant, a classroom, or even a school building are interacting based on the shared meaning they give to symbols.

2.    If the question refers to issues at the MICRO level, the answer is:     Interactionist perspective.

3.  If the question refers to issues at a MACRO level, you must choose between the two MACRO perspectives:

    A Functionalist point of view is concerned with how a society or large sector of people "Function."  How are things Working?  Does the issue concern itself with social stability, efficiency, or order?

    A Conflict perspective is concerned with issues of social inequality.  Issues related to class conflict, "haves vs. have-nots," and the like are in the foreground of a Conflict orientation.

Approach each test question, or things you encounter in day-to-day life (political speeches, advertising, newspaper editorials) with these three steps and you will continue to awaken and develop your Sociological Imagination.