This essay will explore the differences and similarities between two social scientists’ view of how social order is made and rebuilt. Both are concerned with governance (Silva, E, pg. 309), that being the action or manner of governing either individuals or society as a whole and how authority and discipline are exercised. The two propositions that will be compared and contrasted are: · Goffman - that social order is produced through the everyday actions and practices of people as they live their lives (Silva, E, pg. 316) · Foucault - that social order is produced through the power of knowledge and discourse (that which is talked about), which are the products of historical processes (Silva, E, pg.
Functionalism is a macro theory, which looks at society as a whole rather than focuses on each individual. It is a theory that concentrates on the harmony between social institutions in society that is based on a consensus view rather than a conflict view as a Marxism theory. As a comparison to society as a whole, Functionalists use an organic analogy as an example. Each organ of the human body has a different job to do and if one part became ill or diseased, the rest could be contaminated or will produce changes in other parts. Similarly the operation of any society is dependent on its social institutions as they provide vital functions which maintain harmony, stability and solidarity within a society.
It was developed by other sociologists in the 20th century and was a popular idea until the 1970s when it came under criticism from new ideas. Functionalism is most often associated with sociology and sociocultural anthropology. Functionalism focuses on the structure and workings of society. Functionalists see society as made up of inter-dependent sections which work together to fulfill the functions necessary for the survival of society as a whole. People are socialized into roles and behaviours which fulfill the needs of society.
TMA04 – Introduction to Social Science Question: Compare and contrast two social science views about the ordering of social life Understanding social order is central to social sciences as it largely determines human behaviour and allows individuals live together, sharing a common space. As a concept, social order can be interpreted as a social condition in which stability and consistency are maintained through a set of rules of conduct, often implicit, inducing people exercise self-control within life situations. It differs over time and place, and tends to be restored immediately when it is breached I looked at the main differences and similarities between the two theorists Michel Foucault and Erwing Goffman? If we now compare and contrast Goffman’s and Foucault’s explanations of how social order is made and remade. I looked at Goffman’s theory, he believes social order is produced through actions of individuals and their practises through living there lives.
The social action approach, argues that individuals experience the social world by interpreting their actions and interactions with others and the meaning they assign to social phenomena. The starting point for understanding society should be the individual as they are authors of their own ideas. Emphasis should be given to how shared meanings develop and how these influence the way individuals define, act and react to their environment. Opposing the social action approach are the structural theories. Structural theories such as functionalism and Marxism are macro (large scale), and deterministic: they see society as a real thing existing over and above us, shaping our ideas and behaviour – individuals are like puppets, manipulated by society.
Functionalism is a sociological theory society has certain basic needs the most important of which is social order. Without order society would fall apart. Functionalist Emile Durkheim argues that social solidarity and social unity is essential for the survival of society. Social solidarity is based on ‘essential similarities’ between members of society. According to Durkheim, one of the main functions of education is to develop these similarities to bind members of society together.
The functionalist believe that the understanding of deviance is the function for society rather than individuals themselves. Even though they believe that consensus is a function required for society. Functionalists therefore, argue that it is important for society to maintain society and the social control. However, the strain theory which is Merton's theory is based upon the theory of functionalist as they encourage anomie of deviance. Merton 1930,highlights the strains between the cultural goals of society and legitimate and regular ways to achieving the goals of success.
Functionalism is a structuralist theory that looks at society as a structure. They see society as more important than the individual, it is their belief that the individual are the product of society, the person is shaped by the norms and values that society teaches. Functionalists see religion, family, the political system and education as part of a complex system that has all the necessary parts in order to keep the system going. The modern day functionalism began with the work of Émile Durkheim. He started the work of positivism; this was biological analogies to explain how society should function.
Macro theories work from the society downward, the society forces the people to change, not the people change society. “In the period from the late 1930s to the late 1950s, functionalism came as near as any perspective to constituting sociological orthodoxy” (Downes & Rock, 2007 p69). Functionalism attempts to explain how the relationships of societal participants’ practices fit together to sustain stability and subsequent social welfare. ‘The 'function' of a practice is just its role in sustaining the overall social structure….’ (Radcliffe-Brown 1957). Functionalism is also known as ‘Order Theory’, as described by Sargent, because it attempts an answer to the problem of order within society, and assumes that society’s purpose is to maintain order and stability, and that all parts of society function in such a way as to maintain
Accessing the relevance of Functionalism in today’s society Functionalism is a sociological theory seeking to explain society and the way it changes (Giddens, 2009). This essay will explain functionalist theory and use it to describe an organisation within society followed by common critiques functionalist theory receives. Functionalist’s view society as a social system of interconnected parts, a term called organic analogy that emphasises evolutionary laws (Giddens, 2009). In this model, Herbert Spencer viewed society as being similar to a body (Giddens, 2009). The numerous organs in the body work together to keep the entire system functioning and regulated, equally the various parts of society for example health care and education work together to keep the entire society functioning and regulated(Giddens, 2009).