functionalism and social inequality

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Perspectives on social class inequality.

Functionalism

Functionalists like Durkheim and Parsons believe that inequality is functional.

Davis & Moore (1967)

  • Unequal distribution is justified because it is beneficial to society: Some jobs are functionally more important than others and some people more able.

  • The most important jobs in society are the most highly rewarded.

  • This will motivate people to compete to achieve them. 

  • society is a meritocracy (rewarded based on merits)

Within all complex societies, social inequality and difference are inevitable and help maintain social order and prevent anomie (Durkheim)

Within all complex societies, social inequality and difference are inevitable and help maintain social order and prevent anomie (Durkheim)

Within all complex societies, social inequality and difference are inevitable and help maintain social order and prevent anomie (Durkheim)

Within all complex societies, social inequality and difference are inevitable and help maintain social order and prevent anomie (Durkheim)

Within all complex societies, social inequality

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