Three Sociological Paradigms
by R. Kleinbach
1. The Conservative views society as a system of interrelated parts
which function to meet social needs and maintain harmony.
2. Conservatives believe that if everyone fulfills his/her
roles and does not deviate from the rights and obligations of those roles, then
the established institutions will meet the needs of the society and there will
be harmony and equilibrium.
3. Conservatives assume society is
essentially orderly, harmonious
and in a state of equilibrium, i.e., the dominant structure and values of our
present society are basically good.
4. Conservatives assume disorder and conflict are negative and caused by
deviance from established norms, values and roles.
5. Conservatives assume values/beliefs hold society together.
6. Conservatives assume that people must be socialized (educated) into the value system in
order to preserve the system and maintain order.
Those who are not or choose not to be socialized (and become deviants)
must be controlled by criticism or police/prison control.
(reformist) (social democratic) (social work)
(focus on government for
materialism) (democratic socialist)
The economy is dominant over ideas & values
in shaping society:
The mode of production (level of technology + structure of control)
is responsible for the general character of
2. People dialectically
interact with our “ideas/paradigms” &
our material/economic environment,
it is not a one-way influence by ideas/values or the economy.
the U.S., radical values include:
4. Conflicts &
contradictions emerge constantly due to regular changes in society.
The resolution of conflict is the motive
force of social change. The main contradiction in our society is between the owner
and the worker classes.
5. Private control of
capital, production for profit, and economic
inequality combine to form the basis
of most social problems. Collective
democratic control of the economy & relative
equality are necessary to solve most
social problems and to create a healthy society.
& distribution should be planned first
to meet the needs of people, then to create
As economic democracy and equality increase (within countries and the
world), the role of the State (national
governments) will decrease.