Symbolic interactionism is based upon the premises that people develop based on their social interaction. The meaning of objects, events, and behaviors comes from the interpretation people give them. These interpretations are based largely on their social constructs. Mead was a symbolic interactionist with his "looking glass self" theory. The theory consists of three core priniciples that give us our "self"; meaning, language, and thought.
Functionalist theory states that each aspect of society is dependent on the next, and that they all work together to comprise society as a whole. Social cohesion happens because all of the members of a society work together to benefit the whole. Robert Merton was a functionalist who divided functions into latent functions, which are unintentional and not obvious, and manifest functions which are intentional and obvious.
While Symbolic Interactionism and Functionalism are based upon the positive effects of society that contribute to its stbility, the Conflict Theory is based upon negative, ever changing, conflicted nature of society. It says that unequal groups have conflicting agendas and values. This causes them to compete with each other and causes the ever changing nature of society. Karl Marx wrote about class conflict , and emphasised how the rich and powerful for social order on the poor and weak, mostly for economic gain.
The two levels of analysis that sociologists use are macro and micro analysis. Macro looks at society and social processes as a whole, and micro on individuals and their interactions. Normative Perspective uses macro analysis, it states that social order is necessary for survival. Interpretive says that social interaction is how the social world is created and is an ongoing process. How we relate to each other as individuals is focusing on a micro-level. The Conflict perspective uses both micro and macro analysis. Micro analysis says that people give...