Functionalism is a macro theory (they look at society as a whole)
- Everyone is socialised the same way so that we can live in harmony, society is based on consensus,this means to agree on how to behave - known as norms, what is wrong or right - values.
- Society is a structure with interconnected parts. All different parts of society have to work together in order to maintain society. this links to their theory of Organic Analogy-Functionalists compare society to the human body- all parts of the body work together to maintain the body and keep people alive/ functioning.
- The family, education system and law work together to maintain society.
Functionalist view of the family
The family plays a postive role in society. They are the centre of harmony,providing protection for its members from the rest of society.
Functionalists take a evolutionary view of the family and say the family has evolved to suit the needs of an industrial society and the family that is most functional is the Nuclear family - this is called the March of Progress approach.
There are two main functionalist theorists: Murdock (1949) and Parsons (1955)
Murdock (1949) believes that the family plays four functions in society. These are as follows:
Socialisation: Teaching the children the norms and values of society from one generation to…