A discussion on functionalism and its contributions to society

A further criticism directed at functionalism is that it contains no sense of agencythat individuals are seen as puppets, acting as their role requires. By this particular logic, it can be argued that functionalists do not necessarily explain the original cause of a phenomenon with reference to its effect.

Search our thousands of essays: Therefore, the idea of grand theory that can explain society in all its forms is treated with skepticism at the very least. In fact, he was in many ways a political sociologist, [18] and recognized that the degree of centralized and consolidated authority in a given polity could make or break its ability to adapt.

Comaroff and Isaac Schapera. Whether social norms were accepted or not was for Parsons simply a historical question.

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The structural-functional approach is based on the view that a political system is made up of several key components, including interest groupspolitical parties and branches of government. Studies Presented to A. Such groups are characterized by common purposes, such as administering property or defending against attacks; they form a permanent social structure that persists well beyond the lifespan of their members.

Perceptions of society reflected the failings of a selfish human nature rather than the perfection of God. A Conversation with Isaac Schapera.

Auguste Comte suggests that sociology is the product of a three-stage development. Thus functionalism is either undefinable or it can be defined by the teleological arguments which functionalist theorists normatively produced before Merton. On the whole, sociocultural systems function to provide their members with adaptations to environmental circumstances and to connect them in a network of stable social relationships.


Radcliffe-Brown established an analogy between social life and organic life to explain the concept of function. Conformity occurs when an individual has the means and desire to achieve the cultural goals socialized into them. By pumping blood around the body, the heart plays a vital role in the continuation of the life of the organism.

The Offspring of Functionalism: French and British Structuralism. Certainly Durkheim was one of the first theorists to explain a phenomenon with reference to the function it served for society.

Myth in Primitive Psychology. It is important to note here that Firth postulated the necessity of distinguishing between social structure and social organization. Auguste Comte divided sociology into two major parts — static and dynamic sociology.This free Sociology essay on Functionalist perspective of the way society is perfect for Sociology students to use as an example.

involves understanding of its relationship to other organs and, in particular, its contribution towards the maintenance of the organism.

In the functionalist perspective, society and its institutions are the. Functionalism holds that society is a complex system whose various parts work together to produce stability and solidarity. According to this approach, the discipline of sociology should investigate the relationship of parts of society to each other and to society as a whole.

Structural functionalism

Start studying Sociology Chapter 1. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Functionalism understates the roles of power and conflict in society.

Contribution of Structural-Functional Theory (With Criticisms)

c. Functionalism states that inequality is necessary for the equitable distribution of societal resources. The text includes a discussion of the. The functionalist perspective, also called functionalism, is one of the major theoretical perspectives in sociology. It has its origins in the works of Emile Durkheim, who was especially interested in how social order is possible or how society remains relatively billsimas.com such, it is a theory that focuses on the macro-level of social structure, rather than the micro-level of everyday life.

Functionalism: Functionalism, in social sciences, theory based on the premise that all aspects of a society—institutions, roles, norms, etc.—serve a purpose and that all are indispensable for the long-term survival of the society.


The approach gained prominence in the works of 19th-century sociologists. ADVERTISEMENTS: In this article we will discuss about the contribution of structural-functional theory to sociology. (i) Many features of society which appear, on the surface, to be devoid of any significance to social life become meaningful when we relate these features to their functions—that is, the contributions of these features “to the flow of social [ ].

A discussion on functionalism and its contributions to society
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