Functionalist Perspective Essay

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Course :Introduction to Sociology Subject : Social Studies Lecturer :Mrs. Christian (A) Outline the Functionalist theory of Society. (B) Discuss the extent to which the functionalist theory, explain social stratification and social change in contemporary Caribbean society. (A) A functionalist is a person, who believes that society is made up of various institutions, and that the family is the most basic institution. While a theory is a set of assumptions, propositions, or accepted facts that attempts to provide a plausible or rational explanation of causes and effects. Two sociologists, who have contributed to the idea of functionalism, are Emile Durkheim and Talcott Parsons. Both men embraced the theory of functionalism and molded their ideas of social facts, collective conscience, dependents of society, value consensus, and functional pre-requisites into the minds of many young people. “The father of sociology “can be used when referring to Durkheim, a well known functionalist. Durkheim’s work revolved around the study of social facts. A term he coined to describe phenomena that have an existence in and of themselves, are not bound to the actions of individuals, but have a coercive influence upon them. Durkheim stated that “collective conscience governs what it is that we believe and the values and principles we have”. Collective conscience comes about because of our capacity to be moral, (ability to do what is right) and to look beyond our own selfish needs. As a group of people, we had recognized that we depend on society and that we need to maintain social order. This recognition promotes unity and consensus; it is done through institutions, such as religion and the education system. Like Durkheim, Talcott Parsons expound on value consensus, which promotes peace among members of society, it also promotes self preservation
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