AQA Sociology A2 - Parsonian Functionalism - Part 1, AGIL

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1. An instrumental need is a "means to an end", what is an expressive need?

  • Needs related to unnecessary parts of society.
  • Needs related to emotional channelling.
  • Needs related to the expressive arts.
  • Needs that are imperative.
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2. What is functional interdependence?

  • A term to describe how society depends upon individuals to exist.
  • A term to describe how individuals function within society itself.
  • A term to describe how all social institutions rely on each other to work.
  • A term to describe the correlation between educational achievement and social class.

3. What 4 essential prerequisites does society need to survive according to Parsons?

  • Adaptation, Goal Attainment, Integration, Leaders
  • Adaptation, Goal Attainment, Integration, Latency (Pattern Maintenance)
  • Adaptation, Grand Hierarchy , Interconnectivity, Latency (Pattern Maintenance)
  • Achievement, Goal Attainment, Interdependence, Latency (Pattern Maintenance)

4. What famous analogy does Parsons use to compare society with the human body?

  • Functional Analogy
  • Organic Analogy
  • Institutional Analogy
  • Warm Bath Analogy

5. Which of these is NOT a major criticism of Parson's theory (all others are)?

  • Postmodernists could argue modern society is far too complex to be seen as harmonious.
  • He provided no source of official statistics to prove his theory.
  • Teleological - explains all institutions via their effect, not the cause.
  • Very conservative - ignores power of some to impose their goals and assumes consensus.
  • He doesn't offer any framework for improving existing social systems.
  • Deterministic - he makes man (people) seem like cogs in a machine.

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