Asses the strengths and weaknesses to the functionalist approach to society

  • Created by: chinwe
  • Created on: 10-01-15 20:44

Asses the strenghts and weaknesses of the functionalists approach to society (33 marks)


functionalism is a structural perspective that sees social order as based on value consensus.

parsons uses the "organic analogy" to describe society, in terms of it having basic needs, functions and roles and being self regulating.


parsons explains the social system through value consensus and social order. 

he belives individual actions in society become predictable- share a central value system (culture); shared norms, values, belifs, goals. This helps lay down rules on how to behave. If members agree to these norms and values= value consensus.

value consensus leads to integration/social order. value consensus directs individuals to meeting the systems needs.

this is done through- socialisation(internalisation) and social order(sanctions).


marxisits reject functionalists idea of a harmonious/ equal society. instead belives that societies culture is based on exploitation and class status. the upper class create stability by using coercion to prevent socail change and maintain conservation. functionalism is a conservative


Pete Langley - Get Revising founder


This sort of resource is maybe better using our 'Organise Your Thinking' tables.