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SOC101 Sociology

Published : 29-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10


About “Walmart Video”

1.What is the main point of the video? 
2.Define the theories as they pertain to the topic and give examples from the video. What are the elements of structural functionalism, conflict theory and symbolic interactionism?   
3.What are the implications in the film for the science of sociology? 



The research is based on Wal-Mart Company which is the largest multinational company of the United States of America. It has different stores like large departmental store, grocery stores and also some hypermarkets located across the length and breadth of the country. It was founded by Mr. Sam Wilton in the year 1962 and has now slowly extended to more than twenty-five countries across the globe.

Main point of the Video

A video titled “Wal-Mart High Cost of Low Prices” has been taken as the example to get to the main ideas of the research. The title of the video itself suggests the problems that lie with the company. It begins with the present CEO of the company Mr. Lee Scott entering an arena and addressing a large gathering of employees and stakeholders ( As expected he praises the company and its strategies and takes pride on being such a large company that controls a large chunk of the American economy. The real story is unveiled slowly as it is seen that the aggressive policies of the mentioned company has been the reason for the shutdown of a large number of small companies in small towns. The company seems to engulf all the minor players in the market to make sure that they are not devoid of even the minute profit percentage. The video also highlights the plight of the working as well as the ex employees of the organization who have been devoid of all benefits by the organization. The employees are also very disheartened to the fact that the company does not recognize their sacrifice and fails to provide them with the minimum health benefits and are paid much less than the standard market rates. The owners of small firms insist on a proper regulation of the government to stop the bullying nature of the mentioned firm.

Theoretical Analysis 

The video shows that the medical costs of the employees have shot up to unbelievable amounts as because of their employment by the company. The med claim policies that are offered by the company are much higher than the existing prices of the market, which makes the labors and the workers unable to pay for them (Kendall, 2012). There are a lot of traditional economic theories that may explain the following issue but the latest rather the most innovative theory implies that cost must be decreased through large scale competition and thus comes the aggressive policy of the company. Wal-Mart has been successful to overturn the neo classical theory in economics from fact to reality. This is the main reason behind the failure of the organization to meet the needs of its employees. The ability of the company to compress the profits and the salaries of its employees cannot be matched by any organizations. The capitalist theory applied by the organization has suppressed the salaries of the workers and have in turn increased the medical costs of the employees.

Elements of Structural Functionalism 

The theory of Structural functionalism can be defined as the creation of a building base in which society is divided into a complex structure with different subdivided parts. These parts work together jointly and promote stability to the whole community. The elements of functionalism are the family, rituals faith and trust. It is seen that Wal-Mart clearly violates the elements as the employees complains about the strategies of the company (Kendall, 2012). The strategies are totally profit oriented strategies and do not take care of the needs and benefits of the people who work for the company. They complain that their family life is ruined after they joined the organization. A store manager of the mentioned company says that his effort towards the organization goes unnoticed as though he dedicated all his effort towards the company and worked there for extra hours. There have been cases where the employees have been unable to provide quality time to their children and extra working hours have forced them to get rest for as less as four hours. The profit making aims of the organization fails to build the community and does not help the cause of the people working under them. Wal-Mart has been sued by scores of employees for such behavior.

Elements of Conflict Theory 

Conflict theory deals with the different inequalities that are present within a particular society. The capitalist ideologies of Wal-Mart group have created a thesis and anti thesis between the owners and the workers of the company. The aggressive strategies of Wal-Mart have totally neglected its employees and they complain about ill treatment by the mentioned company. Long hours of work, disparities in salaries, and absence of proper medical benefits are some reasons that have been bothering the employees. The following problems have created a conflict situation within the company. In many of the cities and towns of USA there has been cases where people who works for Wal-Mart are struggling to earn a proper living and they believe that the top management of the company must come out with a proper plan to get rid of such problems and recognize the sacrifice of their employees. The socially powerful group of the company tends to suppress the rights of the employees and engages themselves in all kinds of illegal activities to make sure that the staff does not get powerful (Hocquelet, 2016).

Elements of Symbolic Interactionism 

The majority population of the world likes to socially interact with others to develop communication skills and have a reputed social image. The research shows that the rules and regulations of the mentioned business entity clearly put an abrupt end to such a perspective. The employees of the supermarket chain complains that there have been serious cases of violation of social rules as the company does not allow its workers to freely interact with other persons which they consider against the rules (Hocquelet, 2016). There have been different cases involving such discriminations and unfortunately the rules and regulations of the nation does not permit the workers to form a strong union to negotiate with the management regarding the rights of the workers. The absence of symbolic interactionism reflects in the formation of subjective interpretations of the individual as they fail to do so in such a situation.

Implications for the Science of Sociology 

Sociology aims to improve the marketing, public relations and employee handling skills of an organization (Kendall, 2012). After a thorough analysis of the whole research it is seen that the mentioned company though highly successful in marketing has failed to satisfy its employees. As mentioned earlier the strategies of the company does not looks after the benefits of the employees and is totally profit oriented. The health benefits have not been provided by the company and it is seen that the personal life of the employees have been hampered. Another social problem that lies within the organization is the denial of mixing freely with the people. The different negative social practices make it difficult for the employees to have satisfaction with their job.


The aims of the researcher to carry out a detailed analysis of the sociological problems within Wal-Mart have been a success. The research has technically evaluated the sociological factors that exist within the organization. The learning outcomes of the project imply that Wal-Mart has cheated a large number of employees related to salaries, working hours and also health benefits. The strategy of the company needs an overall change to make it more employees friendly.


"Walmart ~ The High Cost Of Low Prices". YouTube. N.p., 2017. Web. 18 June 2017.

Hocquelet, M. (2016). Organizing Employees at the Giant of Retail Sales: UFCW and Our Walmart Confront a Fifty-Year Tradition of Anti-Union Discourse and Practices. REVUE DE L IRES, (88), 129.

Kendall, D. (2012). Sociology in our times. Cengage Learning.

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