Functionalism

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  • Functionalism
    • Alternative theories to criticise
      • Postmodernism
        • We have the ability to create our own identities and therefore agencies of socialisation do not matter
      • Marxism
        • Agencies of socialisation legitimise class inequality
        • Adorno - Upper classes control the masses through the media
    • Durkheim
      • Agencies allow people to have a consensus (shared norms and values) within society
        • People do respond to the same situation in similar ways e.g. people all tend to sit quietly and listen to the teacher in class
        • Feral children have little or no socialisation and cannot function adequately in society therefore proving agencies of socialisation are essential for proper functioning
          • there have been very few cases, making it unrealistic to generalise to a wider population due to individual differences
        • Doesn't explain those that do deviate from the norms and values of society
    • Parsons
      • Nuclear families are the best for socialisation
        • Provides gender socialisation (supported by Oakley)
          • Gender socialisation can come from media
        • Research is out of date
          • There are now are far greater range of types of family
          • There are various government benefits to help people
      • The education system provides a meritocracy
        • Free education in Britain
        • Everyone sits the same exams
        • Private schools often offer a better education and have an 'old boy network'
    • Key
      • Theory
      • Strength
      • Weakness

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