Essay: Fundamental Perspectives in the Assessment of Social Problems

Sample Essay

There are four perspectives that sociologists generally utilize one of four fundamental perspectives in their assessment of social problems. These are the functionalist perspective, the conflict perspective, the feminist perspective, and the interactionist perspective. When the media sheds light on a social problem, it begins to use these four perspectives in a contorted mixture that is designed to keep the audience entertained so that the audience does not lose the attention that they have developed in that particular source of media. This practice on the part of the media is generally known as infotainment and is commonly adhered to by the modern day media (Anderson, 2004).

It is essential to highlight at this point that another fundamental cause of the difference between the perspectives that are held by the media and by sociologists towards the same social problems are more than often because of the fact that the media chooses to develop a perspective towards social problems that is based on the objective reality of the social problem in most cases. The fact of the matter is that out of the desire to succeed commercially, the media tends to opt for the promotion of any one of the objective reality or the subjective reality that draws in the largest audience. In this regard, the media ignores the sensitive balance between the two forms of reality that every social problem possesses (Berger & Luckmann, 1967). The sociologist on the other hand, chooses to asses each problem in the perspective that best suits the problem and ensures that the social problem is neither exaggerated out of proportion nor denied the importance that it deserves.

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