Functionalism

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  • Functionalism
    • Key concepts
      • pref quant & use of stats for finding corrs
      • soc order, harmony,  consensus, v's, integ
      • imp of consensus & how it is maint - v's/ socn/ cont
      • those who don't adhere to common v's = dev - deserve to be reprimanded
      • soc inst have functions - link to other inst - maint the whole
      • soc structure shapes people & their beh
    • Durkheim
      • dev = functional - soc needs careful balance w/ lev of dev
        • functions:
          • reinforces solidarity of commitment to shared v's
          • pun unifies comm
          • social rules made clear
          • singles out undes indivs
          • boundaries reinforced & tested - soc change = poss e.g. Nelson Mandela - change needs to happen - tested boundaries
        • legacy of Hitlers Germany - funct would say hoiwever it gave us human rights
      • dev = about v's - reinforcing them & about social structure & transmission of v's & socialisation
        • dev threatens soc order - anomie
      • in a 'soc of saints' beh like burping = dev
        • low crime rates => stagnation
        • high crime rates => anomie
      • EVAL
        • res meth = theoretical - lacks emperical basis - unrel
        • not all crime = funct - e.g. murder victims fam wouldn't think so
        • ignores extent to which v's set by soc may create dev
    • Merton
      • 5 responses to v consensus - LANRC
      • used lifestyle of USA dream - places great emphasis on material success
      • not everyone has same relationship w/ v consensus as memb of soc in diff pos of soc structure - some embrace, some rej
      • in Western soc = cultural goals - socialised to want big houses etc
        • institutionalised means of achiev goals - ed & career
            • 5 poss ways memb of soc could resp to succ goals - CIRRR
              • retre - alcohol/ drug abuse
              • reb - e.g. terrorists
      • EVAL
        • over-exag w/c crime & under-es m/c crime
        • how can crime be funct when causes so much misery?
        • fails to chall whose v consensus we're expected to follow
        • explain rise of crime in Thatcher's Britain due to excessive indiv

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