The study under discussion focuses on the recent news which gives an overview of the current society and how people can correlate the occurrence of the activities based on a sociological aspect. The primary task is to identify a particular situation where either conflict theory, symbolic interaction theory, or structural functionalist theory would be applied to examine the world from the social perspective including both present and past events. In fact, the primary motive of this study was to imply the significance of sociological theories in the world today. The recent involvement of Pope Francis where he was awarded with Charlemagne Prize due to his contribution to the society and religion will be also evaluated in this study. It is hypothesized that George Herbert's theory of symbolic interactions and Karl Max's theory of conflict were highly evident. Moreover, Mile Durkheim's theory of structural functionalism was manifested as well. In fact, this can serve as clear indication that theorist is relevant in today’s society.
To be more precise, on May 6th, 2016, Pope Francis was awarded with the prestigious Charlemagne Prize. Therefore, even being an iconic concurrent leader, he is faced with ironical, significant resistance from the representatives of the institution that he leads. Previously, he said that he did not want any awards since he did not want people to see him as someone special. According to the vision of Pope Francis, Europe undergo a “memory transfusion” so that its citizens and leaders can avoid mistakes of the past and create future based on economic justice and respect for life. Moreover, he appeals the Europeans to care for children, help the poor and shelter those who come to seek refuge there. A few weeks ago, he had fled to Greek island of Lesbos from which he returned to Rome with 12 refugees. Apparently, this act was aimed to encourage European leaders to welcome those who need support and shelter. Despite of all his positive deeds, there seems to be a growing internal resistance to Pope Francis. For instance, the act of washing people's feet on Holy Thursday is perceived by many bishops and priests as a kind of obligatory practice meant to follow just the traditional rules. The recent unfold of events supported by the Pope states that the sexual minority should not be discriminated and should be treated with dignity and respect. Apparently, such position has led to a heated debate all over the globe by many people saying that the Pope supports unethical issues. According to everything mentioned above, many sociological theories can be applied.
According to Karl Max and other philosophers with similar points of view, the society is in a state of continuous conflict due to competition for limited resources and where status and power are unevenly distributed. Moreover, they support the idea that those in the authority try to hold on to it by all means possible even if it presupposes suppressing the poor (Royce, 2015). In the article above, the conflict theory can be applied in the sense that there is no equality in the world. According to this position, the Pope says “The continent's people are tempted to yield to our own selfish interests and look into putting up fences." He also adds that youth unemployment was sapping the continent of its dynamism, and he called for new economic models that are "more inclusive and equitable." In fact, this is an indication that there are no enough available resources for everyone; consequently, it leads to a a number of unemployed youth and a large ratio of the population who are still living in absolute poverty. It is ironical that in the same system where there are so many poor people there is still people who are filthy wealthy. Specifically, such discrepancy shows the level of unequal distribution of resources with the rich continuing to accumulate much wealth while the poor continue living on hand to mouth living. Those in power also have forgotten about those who look up to them and have just focused on the process of self-enrichment.
To continue, another aspect of conflict is where the Pope declares that homosexuals should not be discriminated and their choice of sexuality should be treated with respected. Some bishops, priests, and other religious leaders are in the position of criticizing the decision of the Pope. Moreover, most of the followers of the church find themselves confused in terms whether to publicize their homosexual status or not. However, due to the pressure from their religious leaders they are forced to suppress their feeling to avoid being discriminated by the church.
In this regard, a number of refugees have increased due to the crises in countries and war which led their citizens to go to other countries in search of safety. According to the article, the Pope takes in 12 refugees from Lesbos to Europe to demonstrate to the leaders that they should be accommodative to the refugees and treat them as they were citizens of the country.
George Herbert's aspect where he supports the idea that people act based according to symbolic meanings which they find within a given situation are portrayed in Christianity. FOr instance, divorce and marriage for gay people were prohibited, but recently, there have been changes in marriage institutions meaning that if a married couple finds themselves in a compromising situation then they are both able to choose to go separate ways, and the responsibility for children will be properly distributed between them. In terms of gay marriages and relationship in the past, such situation would have been perceived as unethical; however, nowadays many churches have learned to accept that it is natural for people to feel attracted to partners of the same gender. Accordingly, the church is understood as symbolized religion. According to Mile Durkheim's theory of structural functionalism that explains expectations of the members of society and the relationship between social units, it becomes evident that religion (church) occupies meaningful position in the society. Therefore, they said that an understanding of an organ of the body involves understanding its relationship with every other body part and its involvement towards the organism as a whole. In fact, their argument that just like an organ which has simple basic needs to survive, the society has the same, and that if one part fails it will all diminish. Thus, social institutions such as the family and religion are paramount in society. The church contributes highly in the activities of the community, and it is usually involved in decision making and controlling of rules that govern representatives of a particular country (Regoli, 2011). As seen, it is the church that illustrates how the leaders of a country should handle its citizens, and it gives a sense of direction to the citizens.
Therefore, the most appropriate perspective in these analyses is the conflict theory since the world people currently live in is conflict and a significant role in decision making in dedicated to both political and social structure. The Pope noted that there had been a radical change from the traditional times when people cared for each other to the present times where everyone is concerned only about themselves.
Today, theorists are still relevant in the societies since that is the issue where most of their theories are implied and still applicable in the modern communities (Regoli, 2011). Current social theory emerges in the work of Karl Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and Herbert. However, the serious problem with l functionalist perspectives is that they share the view that society dictates how every individual should act and work during their life and everything is predetermined for them. This is not applicable in the modern society since everybody has the right of the independence to choose on what to do.
In conclusion, this can be characterized as an interesting study since one can relate the society with some of the sociological theories from the past. It is overwhelming to see that most of them are still relevant in the society today.