Including social institutions, a system of behavioral and relationship patterns, having specific roles to perform to make society. I believe the Functionalist theory best describes society. Personally I believe society can only be stable through social order. Including that part is primarily institutions of society. Amongst family, community, religion, academia, business, media, and government are all equal but, when one gains predominance tyranny always emerges.
There are two major aspects in regards to the sociological perspective, the first being interaction between social structure and an individual and the idea of two levels of analysis. When it comes to the interaction of social structure and the individual, sociologists tend to concentrate not so much on the characteristics of an individuals behavior but rather on the precedents that are collective amongst individuals in regards to society and groups around them. The key to grasping sociology comes from the inevitability and repetition, which are seen in customary social behaviors throughout society and individuals. Social structures are socially embodied in the actions, thoughts, beliefs, and long-lasting temperaments of individual human beings. The typical being often has a
They are both structuralist theories, the individual is viewed with less importance than the social structure or organisation of society. Functionalists see society as being made up of interdependent sections, which will work together to fulfil the functions necessary for the survival of society as a whole. They see shared norms and values as being fundamental to society. Functionalists believe that society can be compared to a living organism, in a way that all interdependent parts (organs) must function together in order for the greater society/body to function. Functionalists see society as a group of institutions.
Functionalists see society as a set of parts which work together to form a whole. Functionalism is also called a consensus theory. Marxism and functionalism are similar in that, they see the way society is structured as an important part in determining the way people have relationships and behave between themselves. This is known as structural perspective. Both functionalists and Marxists believe that people are portrayed as creature within the social system.
Durkheim is a firm supporter of this theory and believes that social order is held together by attitudes of solidarity which play the role of ensuring the survival of a well integrated society in which everything and everybody is a piece of a jigsaw that fits together to create a bigger picture. A different explanation of culture has been offered by Marxists who criticize culture to evoke social conflict where the bourgeoisie exploit the proletariat as is explained in Marx’s base/superstructure model. The model reveals the relationship between the bourgeoisie who own the means of production and “defenceless” proletariat who are forced to work for an undervalued wage yet still accept their situation due to exploitation and corruption. In support of Durkheim’s view is the fact that the majority of students attend college and further still to university because of a shared belief that education is the key to the better earning jobs in life however this could be reversed to support the Marxists as we pay nine thousand pounds for education in order to gain jobs under the ruling class which ultimately benefit and profit the bourgeoisie so both points are relevant even still in recent times. Further support of Durkheim’s theory of value consensus is Kidd’s view of culture,
Further it contends that individual rights cannot remain intact without a communitarian perspective; that human dignity and the social dimension are recognized equally. How is this possible? Can a system exist in which an individual and society as a whole maintain a mutually acceptable symbiotic existence without infringing on opposing responsibilities? A democratic perspective by its very nature relies on a individuals view on how best to run his given society. A communitarian perspective insist that all members of a community act and react as one, each drawing the same conclusions as the next, and collectively moving towards a mutual goal.
Durkheim’s functionalist theory -Functionalists see society as based on value consensus (members of society sharing common culture). -Culture: Set of shared norms (rules), values, beliefs and goals shared culture produces social solidarity and binding people together. -Functionalists argue there are two mechanisms needed for society to achieve solidarity: Socialisation: instils the shared culture into its members ensuring we internalise the same norms and values, and meet society’s requirements. Social control: mechanisms include both + & - rewards for conformity and deviance, ensuring we behave the way society expects. The inevitability of crime -Functionalists see too much crime as destabilising society; they also see crime as inevitable and universal.
Browne once said "sociological perspectives centre on how much freedom or control the individual had to influence society" He goes on to comment on the two main approaches "structuralism is concerned with the overall structure of society and the way social institutions act as a constraint, or limit and control individual behaviour". Structuralism offers a view of the individual being controlled by the society they live in, Marx and Durkheim are similar in that they can both be described as structuralists, however their individual ideas are somewhat different. Functionalism was developed by Emile Durkheim, he believed like Comte that sociology should be viewed as a precise science and that society should be studied objectively. Durkheim placed an enormous amount of emphasis on social facts which he saw as ways of acting, thinking or feeling that are external to individuals and have their own reality outside the lives and perceptions of individual people. This is known as the macro approach, which places a great emphasis on the structure of society and how an individual operates with that society.
Order and predictability are important if society is to exist. Without mutual understanding, social encounters would be chaotic and demoralizing. Functionalists believe that without collective conscience it is impossible to achieve social and social order is crucial to making sure that the society runs smoothly. Talcott Parson believes that social order is achieved through the existence of shared value system called the value consensus whereby. A culture is a set of norms, values, beliefs and goals shared by the members of society, whereby value consensus is the glue that holds the society together.
According to functionalists, order and predictability is important if a society is to exist. To ensure the society functions accordingly, people have to follow the norms and share common values or value consensus. Functionalists believe that value consensus can constrain and shape humans’ behaviour because people are said to be passive and they conform to sanctions whereby rewards will be given for practicing good behaviour (positive sanction) and punishments await those who commit deviant behaviour (negative sanction). Emile Durkheim argues that society is bigger than individuals and more vast . Individuals learn to desire what the society provides and in doing so, they internalise the roles given to them.