Compare the Functionalist and Marxist Perspective on Society

Topics: Sociology, Marxism, Karl Marx Pages: 4 (1111 words) Published: November 3, 2008
“Lotto a ticket to your dreams” Vote Lucky Five and give yourself a chance fi step up inna life”. These slogans represent the societal belief of the Jamaican people that there are means by which one individual can move from one stratum of the Jamaican society to another. In some societies ones position in society is ascribed and fixed as in many Asian societies. These systems reinforce the idea of inequality and social change is nearly impossible. There are many different sociological theories that attempt to explain how society or aspects of society work together. Different theories try to understand social behaviour at different levels of investigation. There are several perspectives on the sociology of education that are important. The two perspectives which are going to be looked at in this essay are Functionalism and Marxism. Although quite different, both Functionalism and Marxism have their similarities. They also have their good and bad aspects, and ways in which each theory dysfunctions however each can be drawn on in relation to a given society with its many and varied functional conflicts and or differences for a clearer understanding of its social issues (Functionalism vs Marxism n.d. Retieved 8 Oct 2008 from Functionalism

Functionalism is the study of society as a functioning system including interdependent institutions or patterned relations that are steady overtime and that enact specialized functions for the whole. This theory therefore sees society as a whole. It is often referred to as the consensus theory as it doesn't address the issue of conflict in society but rather it looks at all the major aspects in society with its main focus being, how direction is kept between parts of society. Any given pattern of relations or structures within society is interpreted by reference to the results or functions that such patterns have for them majority....
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