Unit7 Sociological Perspectives for Health and Social Care

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Society Society Functionalism Functionalism holds that everyone and everything in society, no matter how strange it may seem, serves a purpose. Functionalism is an approach that sees the social institutions in society working in harmony with each other. Functionalists believe that our society works together with each other in institutions/groups such as; the family, the education system or legal system, with each of them having a social role or position in their society. Everyone has a function within society. Everyone must put something into society and if you put something into society, you will gain something back. For example, the government, or state, provides education for the children of the family, which in turn pays taxes on which the state depends to keep itself running. The family is dependent upon the school to help children grow up to have good jobs so that they can raise and support their own families. In the process, the children become law-abiding, taxpaying citizens, who in turn support the state. Talcott parsons (1902-1979) played a vital role in the development of functionalism as a sociological approach. He saw society as a system made up of interrelated institutions, which contributed to its smooth running and continuity. Criticisms of functionalism Criticisms of functionalism focus on its acceptance and rationalization of social inequality and societal evils. Since functionalism holds that all aspects of society are necessary, human rights issues like poverty, hunger, slavery, and genocide must be accounted for. Critics suggest that functionalism can be used as a rationalization of such issues.
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