Functional Imperatives

Topics: Sociology, Functionalism, Society Pages: 2 (417 words) Published: November 18, 2011

Within society is the essence of established institutionalized foundations, but not limited to specific associations such as prisons or schools. An institution is much wider in its comprehensiveness and bearing than an individual or organization. Categorized as social behaviour, institutions channel practices in the crucial areas of social life. “Institutions provide procedures through which human conduct is patterned, compelled to go, in grooves deemed desirable by society and this trick is performed by making the grooves appear to the individual as the only possible ones” (Berger, 1963:87). An example, society instils in its citizen´s deliberate pathways for the institution of marriage. It is strongly expected that a man and a woman will bond, marry, co habit and pro create and although the choices available are numerous individuals choose the channels that are demanded by society, resulting in a social equilibrium.

The same observations can be said in the conception of religion where social variations are great and religious values will be institutionalized even when a specific religion is not. To exist and function as it should each institution in society needs to face and solve certain problematic issues, these are identified as goal attainment (define primary goals), adaption ( evolution of more efficient systems), integration ( coordinating society as a whole unit) and latency ( motivation of people to perform as society expects ) all of which are structural commands that have to be adhered to for an institution to survive (Talcott Parsons, 1937). This theory leads to the idea of functional independence between organised structures in society, such as family, work, education and religion. The values of these institutions that determine a particular behaviour are communicated through generations and become an integral part of social society.

People will experience pressures and constraints on...
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