Macro perspective is a form of analysis which focuses on the structure of society and provides a way of seeing society as a unified whole. In this macro perspective minimal attention is given to the individual or the subjectivity of actors. The structures of society are thought to be primary and responsible for shaping the individual. Feminism, Marxism, functionalism, and conflict perspectives are macro because they look at how society works at large. A micro perspective focuses on the individual level, while a macro perspective focuses more broadly on society. The Macro-Perspective theory is an extension to the Structural Functionalism theory. The Macro-Perspective theory focuses on the structure of society and provides a way of seeing society as a unified whole.
In this perspective minimal attention is given to the individual. The structure of society is thought to be primary and responsible for shaping the individual. The agency structure perspective is the European alternative to the micro-macro perspective in America. Agency generally refers to micro-level, individual human actors, but it can also refer to collectivities of that act. Structure usually refers to large-scale social structures, but it can also refer to micro structures, such as those involved in human interaction.
Agency-Structure and Micro-Macro Linkages
One of the key differences between micro-macro and agency-structure theory is their respective images of the actor. Micro-macro theory tends to have a behaviorist orientation, whereas agency-structure theory places an emphasis on conscious, creative action. A second major difference is that micro-macro theory tends to depict issues in static, hierarchical, and historical terms, whereas agency-structure theory is more firmly embedded in a historical, dynamic framework.
Sociological theories can be grouped together according to various criteria. One of the most important of these is the distinction between structural or macro perspectives and social action or micro perspectives. Functionalism is an example of a macro perspective as it analyses the way society as a whole fits together whereas symbolic interactionism is a micro perspective because it stresses the meaningfulness of human behavior and denies that it is primarily determined by the structure of society.Comparison of functionalism and symbolic interactionism by Christine Langhoff.