These perspectives conceptualize society, social forces and human behavior to offer sociologists paradigms of how society influences people, and how people influence society.
On the micro level, the symbolic interactionist perspective focuses on the use of symbols and face-to-face interactions. This perspective allows sociologists to evaluate the meaning of symbols and details in everyday life and how people interact with one another.
The two remaining perspectives, functionalism and conflict theory, operate on the macro level. In a nutshell, functionalism interrogates how each interdependent aspect of society contributes to society's function as a whole. Functionalists believe that society is a system of interconnected parts held together by a social consensus in which members of the society work together to achieve what is best for society as a whole.
In contrast to functionalism, conflict theory focuses on the negative and conflicted nature of society. The conflict perspective interrogates the various aspects of society where certain groups hold power over others and benefit from these imbalanced social arrangements.
The functionalist perspective is based largely on the works of Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim,
Talcott Parsons, and Robert Merton. According to functionalism, society is a system of
interconnected parts that work together in harmony to maintain a state of balance and social
equilibrium for the whole. For example, each of the social institutions contributes important
functions for society: Family provides a context for reproducing, nurturing, and socializing
children; education offers a way to transmit a society’s skills, knowledge, and culture to its youth;
politics provides a means of governing members of society; economics provides for the
production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services; and religion provides moral
guidance and an outlet for worship of a higher power.
The functionalist perspective emphasizes the interconnectedness of society by focusing
on how each part influences and is influenced by other parts. For example, the increase in singleparent and dual-earner families has contributed to the number of children who are failing in
school because parents have become less available to supervise their children’s homework. As a
result of changes in technology, colleges are offering more technical programs, and many adults
are returning to school to learn new skills that are required in the workplace. The increasing
number of women in the workforce has contributed to the formulation of policies against sexual
harassment and job discrimination.
Functionalists use the terms functional and dysfunctional to describe the effects of social
elements on society. Elements of society are functional if they contribute to social stability and
dysfunctional if they disrupt social stability. Some aspects of society can be both functional and
dysfunctional. For example, crime is dysfunctional in that it is associated with physical violence,
loss of property, and fear. But according to Durkheim and other functionalists, crime is also
functional for society because it leads to heightened awareness of shared moral bonds and
increased social cohesion.
Sociologists have identified two types of functions: manifest and latent (Merton 1968).
Manifest functions are consequences that are intended and commonly recognized. Latent
functions are consequences that are unintended and often hidden. For example, the manifest
function of education is to transmit knowledge and skills to society’s youth. But public
elementary schools also serve as babysitters for employed parents, and colleges offer a place for
young adults to meet potential mates. The baby-sitting and mate-selection functions are not the
intended or commonly recognized functions of education; hence they are latent functions.
Sociology includes three major theoretical perspectives: the functionalist perspective, the conflict perspective, and the symbolic interactionist perspective (sometimes called the interactionist perspective, or simply the micro view).
I think it's because sociological perspective or in simple term or understanding the study of society which gives us a clue or easier way to understand human behavior through observing.