Concepts and Perspectives Essay

3386 Words14 Pages
Task 2: The Functionalist Perspective Functionalism is a macro approach to society. Functionalists see society as a system made up of various different elements, which work together to make a whole. According to the functionalist perspective, the family, religion and education are vital to the survival of society. There are several theorists who contribute their thoughts on the concept of functionalism, such as, Durkheim, Parsons and Davis and Moore. What would Durkheim and Parsons have to say about the new rules being implemented in schools, with regards to healthy eating? A major contributor to the functionalist perspective, was Durkheim. His viewpoint was that society is structured and functions much like the human body, whereby, the human body consists of many vital components, all of which have a definitive purpose and need to be maintained in order to ensure survival. He believed society has an existence of its own, larger than the individuals who form it. Haralambous and Holborn (2008:858) Durkheim (1938) suggested that society was held together by a social consensus, in which, people worked alongside each other to maintain what is best for society. He implied that this cohesion took one of two formations, mechanical solidarity, where people share similar beliefs and values and participate in comparable types of work. Or in opposition, organic solidarity, where people are interdependent, but have differing values or beliefs and enlist variable types of work. (www.cliffnotes.com) He had strong opinions on morals, believing that without morals chaos would ensue. In Durkheim’s words he said, ‘for where interest is the only ruling force each individual finds himself in a state of war with every other’ Haralambous and Holburn, (2008: 858) Another major contributor to the functionalist perspective, was Parsons. Like Durkheim, Parsons (1961) queried how

More about Concepts and Perspectives Essay

Open Document