Basis of the structural functionalist perspective
A society is a complex unit, made up of interrelated parts. All these parts form the structure of the society and each sub unit has to perform its given task. Social structures are stressed and placed at the center of analysis and social functions are deduced from these structures. This perspective looks at how the various parts of the society come together and perform their individual tasks interdependently and interrelated to promote social stability and order and in turn the smooth functioning of the society. Structural functionalism is a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. This approach looks at society through a macro-level orientation, which is a broad focus on the social structures that shape society as a whole, and believes that society has evolved like organisms. This approach looks at both social structure and social functions. Functionalism addresses society as a whole in terms of the function of its constituent elements; namely norms, customs, traditions, and institutions. As a structural theory, Functionalism sees social structure or the organisation of society as more important than individual. Functionalism is a top down theory. Individuals are born into society and become products of all the social influences around them as they are socialised by various institutions such as the family, education, media and religion. Functionalism sees society as a system; a set of interconnected parts which together form a whole. There is a relationship between all these parts and agents of socialisation and together they all contribute to the maintenance of society as a whole. Structural functionalism concentrates on the positive and negative functions of social structures. Societal functionalism is a particular type of structural functionalism that aims to explain the role of social structures and institutions in...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document