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.
Contrast and compare two sociological perspectives using one area of social life. This essay will compare and contrast Functionalism and Marxism. It will discuss and analyse the Functionalist and the Marxist perspectives on family. Functionalism and Marxism are two of the most influential perspectives within Sociology, and evolved in response to modernity. They are both structuralist theories, the individual is viewed with less importance than the social structure or organisation of society.
Within society the functionalists outline what they call functional prerequisites, these are what society requires in order to exist. Some functionalists believe that these prerequisites are institutions such as family or social stratification. They are easily identified in every type of society even though they can vary. This view is held by sociologists such as Murdock (1949). However this does not show how much these prerequisites can differ between societies and satisfy a different need.
Talcott Parsons believes that school is a focal socialising agency, acting as a bridge between family and wider society, this is enforced because families and society act on different levels. Within a family a child is giving different jobs based on their age and gender but within schools everything is the same for everyone. Schools and society are very similar that expectations and rules are applied to all and each pupil is judged in the same way. He believes a persons status is achieved not ascribed like within society. Depending on your personal achievement will determine how well you do.
According to Parsons, the family is a social system that is functional to our society. He believed that society is a system of interrelated parts that can create an equilibrium, which is the normal state of affairs. The social institutions such as schools, mass media, and political systems are examples of the interrelated parts of society from a functionalist perspective. He also views the family structure as a patriarchy. Parsons explains the four basic problems that a society must confront in order to survive.
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
Functionalists believe that society is held together by social consensus or cohesion, in which members of the society agree upon, and work together to achieve what is best for the community as a whole. In education, the functionalist view proves that society’s values and expectations are reflected in the system, and social norms are simply learned through interaction with teachers and peers. Functionalism has received criticism for neglecting the negative functions of an event such as divorce. Critics also claim that the perspective justifies the status quo and complacency on the part of society's members. Functionalism does not encourage people to take an active role in changing their social environment, even when such change may benefit them.
Assess the contribution of functionalism to our understanding of society. The functionalist theory is a based on consensual structuralism. This means that they way how society is view is on a top-down/macro scale which looks at the way how society's institutes shape how and who we are. Functionalisms main concepts consist of society having a value consensus, meritocracy, specialised roles and social cohesion. Emile Durkheim is one of the most influential sociologists in the early stages of functionalism.
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.
Structural functionalism is a theory that is used to describe a society that functions on a few key assumptions. First, society is constructed by interdependent system of parts. Second, no part can be understood individually, that is to say that the system as a whole cannot be understood if one part is missing. Third, social order between individuals and organizations of society has to share norms and values in order for society to function properly. Fourth, social change does not occur rapidly, instead it is a regulated process which ensures that citizens and organizations adapt to social change properly.