Structuralism vs. Functionalism

Topics: Mind, Psychology, Consciousness Pages: 1 (275 words) Published: February 20, 2012
According to Wikipedia, structuralism is an intellectual movement that was developed in France in the 1950s and 1960s, in which human culture is analyzed as a system of signs. Structuralism argues that a specific area of culture may be understood by means of a structure modeled of languages which come from reality and ideas of one’s imagination. Structuralism also emerged as one of the first school of thought and some of the ideas came from this school that was founded by Wilhelm Wundt. It focused on breaking down the mental processes into basic components. In addition, the strength of structuralism influenced experimental psychology. However, some people have criticized structuralism because they felt it was only concerned with internal behavior that is not noticeable and cannot be measured correctly.

On the other hand, the definition to functionalism is the theory of the mind in existing philosophy with ideas in mental states such as beliefs, desires, and pain. It is also said to be a popular theory of the nature of minds. Functionalism was formed because of the reaction to structuralism by William James. They created this theory to explain the mental processes in a more systematic and accurate manner. They also focused on the purpose of perception and behavior rather than on elements of consciousness.

In conclusion, I feel structuralism and functionalism are similar because they both deal with the mind. Structuralism deals with the conscious existence of feeling, sensations, and images while functionalism deals with people attitudes, goals, and fears. I also feel that they work together because people want others to recognize them in a positive image by the jobs they perform.
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