Functionalist Essay

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tionalismFUNCTIONALISM Functionalist sociologists like Parsons and Durkheim have been concerned with the search for functions that institutions may have in society. However, another functionalist sociologist R. Merton has adopted a concept of dysfunction - this refers to the effects of any institution which detracts from the conservation of society. An example of a function which helps maintain society is that of the family, its function is to ensure the continuity of society by reproducing and socialising new members. Another institution which performs an important function is religion functionalist sociologists believe that it helps achieve social solidarity and shared norms and values, however it could be argued that it fails to do this as a result of increasing secularisation in recent years and therefore it creates a divide between members of society rather than binding them together (moral glue) Social Order: Functionalists believe that there are four main basic needs that an individual requires in order to exist in society. They also believe that these four basic needs are essential for maintaining social order. They are: food, shelter, money and clothing. Functionalism and Crime and Deviance: Durkheim shows us that there is such a thing as society, and that it is this entity called society that creates crime and deviance. Crime and deviance are socially constructed - they are not natural, obvious, or theologically inspired categories. They are concepts that were brought into the world solely by humankind. Moreover, Durkheim goes beyond this and shows us how socially constructed definitions of crime and deviance are linked into a wider social structure. Education: To functionalists, a comparative can be drawn from education to a major organ in the human body that is a vital and integral part of the whole system. The education system is seen

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