Perspective in Sociology
A perspective means one’s point of view, it is how objects appear in the eye of the viewer, the choice of a context for opinions, beliefs, and experiences. In other words, a perspective is simply a way of looking at the world i.e. world viewpoint.
It is related experiences of the narrator. It is a value system and unavoidably an associated belief system. When we look at a business perspective, we are looking at a monetary base value system and beliefs. When we look at the human perspective, it is a more social value system and its associated beliefs.
Sociologists view society differently. They have their own way of getting society and its dynamics in a theoretical manner.
Sociology is a social science that seeks to explain and examine the social system and to explain and understand complex social systems sociology makes use of theories and perspectives, which are called sociological perspectives. Peter Berger described the sociological perspective as ‘seeing the general in the particular.’ C. Wright Mills called this point of view the ‘sociological imagination,’ claiming that it transforms personal troubles into public issues.
Sociological perspectives can be also described as:
- Seeing the general in particular: Society shapes our particular life experiences. Sociologists seek out the general pattern in the behavior of particular people.
- Seeing strange in familiar: Challenging the familiar ideas we live our lives in terms of what we decide.
- Seeing individuality in social context: How the power of society shapes individual choices (individuality e.g. No. of children women have in the US fewer than 2, India 3, S.A. 4, Nepal 3. Durkheim’s theory of suicide is another example.
Different perspectives have been developed in sociology to describe the operation of society. A single perspective is not sufficient to study the complex society and therefore, various perspectives have been developed based on various assumptions they entail. Some of the important theoretical perspectives in sociology are:
(Follow the links to get detailed explanation of the above perspectives)
Sociology and social marginality: People realize their position and try to mitigate the gap or discrimination, e.g. black people of the USA and Medhesis of Nepal.
Social Crisis: Sociologist ideas of social crisis and seeks social facts responsible for the same, e.g. conflict in Nepal.
Helps us assess the truth of commonsense: Whether commonly held beliefs are true?
Help us to see opportunities and constraints: It helps us to understand why we are lagging, what are opportunities available, etc.
Empowers us to be an active participant:
Help us to live diverse world:
Both theoretical and practical perspectives are useful and necessary in sociological study and research. With the help of perspectives, the same subject matter also can be analyzed in different ways. Perspectives are useful for understanding various aspects of society and culture in different t context for different people. The same society or social phenomenon can be approached or viewed or studied from different theoretical perspectives.
The theoretical perspectives refer to the broad assumption about society and social behavior that provide a point of view for the study of specific problems. Our sociological imagination may help us to employ any theoretical perspectives or approaches to study human behaviors. Perspectives are very useful in developing theories and explaining specific types of behavior.