Sociology and the Society

Sociological approaches differs from other methods in the sense that they utilize science in addition to deduction and induction methods to explain trends in the society. In other words, sociological approaches involves gathering information, formulating theories about the collected data, and subsequently using scientific methods to analyze the validity of the formulated theories (Leon-Guerrero, 2015). Some social problems attract more attention in comparison to others mainly due to their level of impact. Put simple, problems that affect a large population, for example, increasing rate of poverty, are more likely to receive attention than problems that affect a small population such as aging.

Poverty is a global phenomenon. It has and continues to affect millions of people each day. Most theories that attempt to explain poverty find social stratification as a major cause of the problem. By stratifying the society, conflict theorists argue that societies develop an unhealthy competition wherein the rich and the poor strive for their own existence. Some sociologists argue that poverty stems from unequal distribution of resources and opportunities. In this way, societies that are more privileged tend to outperform the less privileged communities. Still, other sociologists argue that poverty stems from personality. In other words, individuals with great personality are more likely to succeed in comparison to those of low personality. In brief, all theories seem to blame the structure of societies for poverty.

Presently, governments are experimenting the idea of raising the minimum national wage. In America, for example, states such as Washington have tried the idea and have reaped the benefits thereof (The Top 10 Solutions, 2015). Their success is an indicator that boosting the minimum wage improves the well-being of citizens. From basic economic knowledge, increasing the minimum wage ensures that citizens have enough money to maintain their lives, that of their families, and are able to save. In this way, they become able to venture in productive activities, such as opening businesses, which in turn gives them immunity against poverty.

Social stratification is the orderly arrangement of people based on their social economic strata. In simple terms, it involves categorizing people into the social classes of upper class, middle class, and lower class. Social stratification is an important tool of determining whether an individual will be rich or poor. Poor people, more often, receive less attention, and, as such, are bound to remain in poverty unless otherwise. Conflict theory is a sociological theory that argues that social stratification is deleterious to the society. According to the theory, stratification persists because it benefits the rich, and, as such, the rich keep getting richer while the poor keep struggling. The theory further argues that the rich capitalize on their high status to oppress the poor. For example, when rich families pay nannies low salaries, they are in essence promoting poverty. Structural functionalist theory is a social theory that argues that stratification as well as inequalities are inevitable social aspects - that their existence to some extent benefits the society. According to this theory, hardworking people will always secure important jobs. The approach insinuates that poverty results from moral failings. Social interactionism is a sociology theory that explains the impact stratification has on individuals. It sponsors the idea that stratification affects beliefs, motivations, lifestyles, everyday interactions, and perceptions of oneself. The theory helps in understanding that structural and individualistic aspects largely contribute to poverty.