Functionalism Social Theory

Topics: Sociology, Functionalism, Émile Durkheim Pages: 3 (322 words) Published: April 1, 2013
Sunday, 10 March 2013
2:12 PM

* Macro world view (structures that shape society)
* Family
* Economy
* Education
* Social Stability, Consensus and Solidarity
* Social institutions (e.g. the family, the economy, education) serve important functions for society * Manifest functions
* Latent functions
* Dysfunction in societies components can lead to conflict, deviance and chaos * ORDER --> STABILITY --> PRODUCTIVITY
* Spencer's Theories:
* Society as an organism
* Darwinism
* Survival of the fittest
* Durkheim's Theories:
* Solidarity holds society together
* Mechanical (traditional)
* Organic (modernity)
* Key Concepts:
* Collective conscience
* Anomie:
* State of normlessness
* Times of change
* People don't know how to act
* Parsons' Theories:
* Functional imperatives for social system to operate
* Merton's Theories:
* Manifest and latent functions and dysfunctions
* Functional Alternatives
* Paradigm of deviant behaviour
* Strain Theory
* When someone can't reach high goals (e.g. American Dream; Big house, two cars etc…) * Leads to crime (e.g. Theft to achieve wealth)
* Political Influence:
* Ideologies of state administrations and the capitalist order (e.g. USA)  
* Social Pathology Model
* Society is an organism
* Problems are 'sickness' in society
* Problems arise when parts (structural and cultural elements) no longer function properly * Family issues (e.g. the demise of a marriage or family construction)  
* Social Disorganisation Model
* Rapid social changes disrupt the norm
* Creates a state of anomie
What positive functions could social problems serve in society? * E.g. the ‘normality’ of crime:
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