Functionalism - Theory

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  • Created by: Lottie
  • Created on: 12-04-14 15:21

Organic Analogy

Society exists becuase the strucutres keep everything together

1. Brain = education becuase it helps people think

2. Spine = government becuase it supports individuals

3. Instines = Family becuase it removes the bad things from you

4. Heart = relgion becuase it keeps things going

5. Lung = Economy becuase it helps you keep alive

6. Liver = NHS because it gets rids of all the bad things in individuals

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1. Social order - it's achieveable by having shared culture and gives individuals rules to follow but everyone has to agree on them called Value Consensus ( it integrates individuals into society and helps them meet societies needs through sociolisation and social control)

2. Parts of the social system - Actions governed by norms and values come in clusters called status role come in clusters called institutions come in groups called sub-systems which make up society.

3. Societies needs - Adaption (to meet people's need - economic sub-system), Goal Attainment ( set goals and helps individuals resources to meet them - political sub-system), Integration (parts of society need to be integrated to meet goals - religion, media and education sub- system) and Latency (processes that maintain society long-term - kinship sub-system)

4. Types of society - Tradtional (ascribed status, relationships = broad, immediate gratification and collective orientation) and modern (achieved status, relationships = limited and deferred gratification ndividualistic orientation)

5.Social Change -  change is slow, soceities go from simple-complex. In trad. society  instituion has lots of functions but now we've lost these functions = called structual differentiation

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Merton -

Criticses Parsons on 7 grounds: 

1. Assumes all the functions are positive for everyone

2. Assumes society is functional but doesn't compare it to anything else

3. Says society will stop if not all functions work but recession proved this wrong - link to organ analogy

4. Distinction between Manifest (intended function) and Latent (unintended function)

5. Functionalism is unscientific as it's claims aren't falsifiable

6. Too deterministic view of individuals as he says they have no free will

7. Functionalism can't account for diversity in today's society - link to social change

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