Detailed Description[ edit ] The structural-functional approach is a perspective in sociology that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. It asserts that our lives are guided by social structures, which are relatively stable patterns of social behavior.
C N Trueman "Functionalism" historylearningsite. The History Learning Site, 25 May As a structural theoryFunctionalism sees social structure or the organisation of society as more important than the individual.
Functionalism is a top down theory. Individuals are born into society and become the product of all the social influences around them as they are socialised by various institutions such as the family, education, media and religion.
Functionalism sees society as a system; a set of interconnected parts which together form a whole.
There is a relationship between all these parts and agents of socialisation and together they all contribute to the maintenance of society as a whole. Social consensus, order and integration are key beliefs of functionalism as this allows society to continue and progress because there are shared norms and values that mean all individuals have a common goal and have a vested interest in conforming and thus conflict is minimal.
Talcott Parsons viewed society as a system. He argued that any social system has four basic functional prerequisites: These can be seen as problems that society must solve if it is to survive. The function of any part of the social system is understood as its contribution to meeting the functional prerequisites.
Adaptation refers to the relationship between the system and its environment. In order to survive, social systems must have some degree of control over their environment. Food and shelter must be provided to meet the physical needs of members. The economy is the institution primarily concerned with this function.
Goal attainment refers to the need for all societies to set goals towards which social activity is directed.
Procedures for establishing goals and deciding on priorities between goals are institutionalized in the form of political systems.
Governments not only set goals but also allocate resources to achieve them. Even in a so-called free enterprise system, the economy is regulated and directed by laws passed by governments. It is concerned with the coordination and mutual adjustment of the parts of the social system. Legal norms define and standardize relations between individuals and between institutions, and so reduce the potential for conflict.
When conflict does arise, it is settled by the judicial system and does not therefore lead to the disintegration of the social system. Institutions that perform this function include the family, the educational system and religion.
Talcott Parsons maintained that any social system can be analysed in terms of the functional prerequisites he identified. Thus, all parts of society can be understood with reference to the functions they perform. A main supporter of Functionalism is Emile Durkheim who believes that sociology is a science.
He is a structuralist and positivist and thus disagrees with empathy, meanings and the social action theory. Functionalists believe that society is based around a value consensus and social solidarity, which is achieved by socialisation and social control.
These are two types of social solidarity Durkheim believed in: Mechanical Solidarity — These societies have people involved in similar roles so labour division is simple. Therefore, a similar lifestyle is lived with common shared norms and values and beliefs.
They have a consensus of opinion on moral issues giving society a social solidarity to guide behaviour. As there is a societal agreement, there is pressure to follow the value consensus, so therefore most do.
Organic Solidarity — Industrialisation meant population grew rapidly with urbanisation occurring. As society develops, a division of labour occurs. This is when work becomes separate from the home and the state organises the education, health care and criminal justice systems.
A parent back then would be the teacher, doctor, judge and jury as well as a parent. Today people have such diverse and specialist roles that moral codes have weakened and anomie has occurred a lack of norms and values and self-control.Functionalist Perspective The functionalist perspective is based largely on the works of Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, and Robert Merton.
According to functionalism, society is a system of interconnected parts that work together in harmony to maintain a state of . · Functionalism sees society as a system; a set of interconnected parts which together form a whole.
There is a relationship between all these parts and agents of socialisation and together they all contribute to the maintenance of society as a whole. ashio-midori.com › Home › Sociology › Theories in Sociology.
Dec 09, · According to functionalism, society is a system of interconnected parts that work together in harmony to maintain a state of balance and social equilibrium for the whole. It is an approach to understand, society is made various units smalls unit can be considered as family.
· Structural Functionalism is a sociological theory that attempts to explain why society functions the way it does by focusing on the relationships between the various social institutions that make up society (e.g., government, law, education, religion, etc).ashio-midori.com /Structural_Functionalism.
Structural functionalism, or, simply, functionalism, is a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability.
Two. · Functionalist Essay; Functionalist Essay. it sees society as a whole rather than looking at parts of it. Due to this, functionalism sees society as a body (organic analogy), all the institutions work together to make society.
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