How Does Postmodernity Differ to Modernity? Compare Through Using the Ideas of Identity and Culture. Evaluate the Idea That Postmodern Ideas Have Superseded the Structural Theories of Functionalism and Marxism.

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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. 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. A social institution being a place where there is a set of rules for behaviour. For example, schools, churches and families. To Functionalists, each institution has its own place in sustaining society and maintaining order. The functionalist perspective recognises that families perform vital functions for their members and for their society, to ensure stability and harmony in order to achieve social order (Giddens, 2009). Functionalists say that society is held together by social consensus, in which members of the society agree upon, and work together to achieve, what is best for society as a whole. Emile Durkheim suggested that social consensus takes one of two forms, one of which is Mechanical Solidarity – the sense of togetherness within a society
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