Briefly explain sociology as a field of study and summarize the 3 major sociological perspectives.     Functionalist Conflict Interactionist  

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Sociology is a field of study that attempts to explain how society and the groups a person belongs to affect the ways in which people behave.  This is as opposed to psychology, for example, which looks at people simply as individuals.

A functionalist looks at various parts of society as parts of a body.  It argues that all the parts of a society get to be that way because they serve an important function.

A conflict perspective says societal institutions get to be that way by conflict -- they are basically imposed by the elites through conflict.

Interactionists are more like psychologists, saying that society is made up of the interactions of individuals.

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