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#Sample College Essay

Applying Sociological Perspectives


A social networking site is an online stage that allows its users to create a profile and interrelate with others on the site. Social networking sites normally have an input of new user and a list of individuals with whom they share a link and then permit the people on the list to verify or refute the connection. After connection has been accepted, the new user is able to search networks of his connections and even make more connections. A social networking site is also called a social website. Social networks are made up of nodes and ties, whereby nodes can either be organizations or individuals. Ties are the forms of connections between the social media users; either strong or weak.   Sociology is a study of social alteration; how people live and interact with each other. Social networking sites has greatly interfered with social shift on the way people communicate and interact with each other, with their daily behaviors being replicated on social networking sites like Facebook (Solis, 2007).

Functionalism perspective on social networking sites

Functionalism mainly focuses on the way technology and social media contribute to improvement of society functioning. For instance, availability of information on the websites help improve society functioning. Social networks are major sources of entertainment. For instance chatting with friends on social Medias like Facebook gives people an exciting way of entertaining themselves. Functionalism also views social networking sites as commercial tools. For instance, through Facebook individuals and organizations are able to advertise their products. From a functionalism perspective, social networks among other media tools serves five vital functions in the society: Social networks act as a channel of socialization. They also enforce social norms, promote consumption, confer status and keep the world informed.

Conflict perspective of social networking sites

Conflict perspective focuses on reproduction and creation of inequality in the social networking sites something that leads to disruption of the society instead of its smooth running. Conflict theorists have been putting more focus on people in charge of creating social network sites and how they promote upper – middle class norms while they minimize lower class presence, particularly people of color. According to the conflict perspective, powerful institutions and individuals have great influence over the types of technology to be released, and the type of media is accessible to people for use (Rodgers, 2009).

Conflict theorists think that mass media is under the control of corporations with an aim of satisfying their personal agendas.  Facebook and other social Medias are not meant to help people connect and enjoy, rather conflict theorist believe they are used by influential individuals to post advertisements that they have been highly paid to post. The conflict perspective views social networking sites as a mouthpiece for social intimidation. The controllers of social networks are believed to use the platform to influence some social classes. Trends get introduced in these social networking sites and copied by the public causing a backup to the theory that domination, coercion, and society change is partly caused by the social networking sites among other Media. Under the conflict perspective, social networking sites are tools of social control. Despite functionalists as well as internationalist agreeing that social networking is necessary, conflict perspective followers views it as a great evil.

Interactionism perspective on social networking sites

According to interactionism, social networking sites are used to shape and define people’s perspective of differing situations. This reality perception evolves as people’s values and cultures continue to change. Social networking sites act as a symbol for a perfect society that many people try to ape. For instance, there are celebrities that promote brands, clothes and behavior that enhances morals and values guideline. Social networking sites being a part of Mass media are defined as communication channels in the current societies that are able to reach massive numbers of people very fast, and sometimes instantly. The social networking sites have brought email, chat-rooms, among other sites to a society that is already media saturated. This has created a great impact on people’s culture.  The way that people behave, believes, and values is greatly influenced by the social networking sites.  According to most of the sociological theories, social networking sites affect greatly the modern culture (Gibbs, 2010).


Social networking sites have proved to be a permanent part of people’s lives. Nevertheless, their presences have evoked a great debate in the society. Studying the social networking sites from sociological perspective helps a person understand and see the social patterns in behaviors of people. All the perspectives of sociology are very important because they help people to see in general the social patterns of people engaging in a particular behavior like engaging in social networking sites and further provide insights concerning social world that goes beyond reasoning from personalities and individuals.  Sociological perspectives are the best ways of approaching occurrences. All the sociology perspectives should be combined together since they help people look at issues differently and allow them to use their own mentality to analyze the society and life.

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Gibbs, P.  (2010). Breaking up America: advertisers and the new media world.  Contemporary Sociology

Rodgers, K. (2009). When do opportunities become trade-offs for social movement organizations? Assessing media impact in the global human rights movement.

Solis, B. (2007) Social media is about sociology not technology.  Brian Solis: Defining the convergence of media and influence

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