Functionalist view on inequality

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  • Created on: 07-05-19 12:28
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  • Functionalist view on inequality
    • Parsons
      • order and stability is maintained on value consensus
      • those who are successful in society will be those who get higher ranks and better rewards.
      • education instils the values of hard work which leads to achievement.
      • As values the way of attending a high position will vary
      • relationship between social groups as cooperation and independence = stratification
    • Social Darwinism
      • Malthus - danger of population increase(food supply) so don't help the ill/poor
      • Spencer - "survival of the fittest" look after self
      • Darwin - natural slection
    • consensus theory and argues that the differences that exist in society with regard to wealth, power, status and prestige exist to motivate the most talented people to work hard for the jobs with the best reward. This idea is known as meritocracy
    • Davis and Moore
      • meritocracy is useful as strong correlation between education and success
      • Role allocation - some jobs are still specific
      • Pure socialism -  primitive societies - complex industries stratification in necessary due to division of labour
      • functional importance of jobs (footballers to doctors)
      • Marx and weberian say not equal opps for all social groups/classes
        • Social mobility and meritocracy is myth and provide rich ideology that justifies greed
      • Tumin - rich people ideology that justifies their greed.
    • Distributions
      • Age - view age as positive as consensus, older people have less status and gradual withdrawal from society, elders socialise to roles for young
        • assume everyone shares experience of growing old in similar way / time of poverty and ill health while others it's relaxation
      • Class - see social stratification (social mobility) implies that poor deserve it as failed to improve
        • Highest paid people actually have less status (celebs) inherited wealth isn't based on meritocracy (is a myth) ,
      • Gender - are functional for society and stability, various roles needed. women
        • Seen as natural, lib and marx fem say it prevents women participating and radical fem (dworkin) says argues suppression of women in family
      • Ethnicity -assimilation theory said shared norms and values so minorities should become absorbed, absorbed at  different speeds - individual and cultural
        • disregards amount of EM can be victims of racism, critical of way migrants live close together fro support of economic reasons
    • Social policy - similar to positivist should inform policy makers, piecemeal don't address real issues


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