Criticism of Functionalism Essay

Topics: Sociology, Social sciences, Speed Pages: 2 (326 words) Published: February 13, 2010
Running Head: Criticism of Functionalism

Criticism of Functionalism

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Criticism of Functionalism

Functionalism is based on the theoretical principle and mental theory that every emotion, feeling, or idea in the mind is linked entirely with purpose. Functionalism also serves the purpose of supporting a society from a unity standpoint (Jarvie, 1973). An example of functionalism conflict can be easily observed through law enforcement. A female officer works to maintain order in society. Meanwhile, a man recklessly drives above the speed limit, knowingly breaking the law. He is also a repeat offender. Today he is upset at his wife so he is in a rush to arrive home. His actions place others at risk as he speeds through town at 80 miles per hour. If he injures an innocent by-stander this would not be a functional situation. As he flies by, everyone realizes that the equilibrium is off, including the female officer who is patiently awaiting speeders. As she reacts to the situation, she realizes that she must catch the driver at once and reprimand him so that no one gets hurt. Her goal is to restore social order. The only way she can do this is by minimizing risk to innocent people, and by taking this man to jail. As the man is pulled over his reaction is abrasive. As a result, the officer is somewhat intimidated, she is five feet tall. She gives the man a ticket, tells him to slow down, and he leaves. A old man standing on a corner observing the situation wonders why this speeder isn’t taken directly to jail, The Sociological Perspective (2010).

Sources Consulted

The Sociological Perspective (n.d.). Retrieved February, 3, 2010, from

Jarvie, I. C. 1965. Limits to Functionalism and Alternatives to it in Anthropology. In Functionalism in the Social Sciences: The Strength and Limits of Functionalism in Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, and Sociology.
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