Comparing and Contrasting the Functionalist Perspective with That of the Conflict Theory

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Comparing and contrasting the functionalist perspective with that of the conflict theory Marxist and functionalism are similar in that they see that the way society is structured as an important part in determining the way people have relationships and behave between themselves. This is known as structural perspective. Both functionalists and Marxists believe that people are portrayed as creature within the social system. The view of both conflict perspective and functionalist perspective as it refers to the family. The family is universal because it full fills the following essential functions for society Sexual – controls sexuality, provides stability for adults Reproductive – provides new members of society. Economic – family provides for its members. Educational – family socialises the young into societies norms and values. While Parsons (1902-79) says “there are two basic irreducible functions of the family” and these are: The stabilisation of adult personalities – the family gives adults the emotional support necessary to cope with the stresses of everyday life. The view of both conflict perspective and functionalist perspective as it relates to education and economy The view of both conflict perspective and functionalist perspective as it related to religion Marxists and functionalists view religion as a very important force in society but for very different reasons. Functionalism sees religion as a source of social unity and cohesion whereas Marxists analysis identifies religion as a social control mechanism not serving the interests of the whole of society but just that of the ruling class. When functionalist stated that religion has a purpose Marxist argued that religion hides the real basis of power and exploitation. And that it alienates people from their true selves yet it’s the means by which they can by way of delusion escape from suffering and oppression. Reference

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