Discuss and Evaluate the Functionalist, Marxist and Feminist Ideologies of Contemporary Society

Topics: Sociology, Marxism, Karl Marx Pages: 3 (1075 words) Published: October 19, 2008
Discuss and evaluate the Functionalist, Marxist and Feminist ideologies of contemporary society

In this assignment, I am going to briefly explore the definitions of Functionalism, Marxism and Feminism and how their ideologies affect contemporary society in Great Britain. In doing so I will give examples that expand upon the definitions and illustrate that such ideologies are evident and still have an impact on the society we live in.

Functionalists believe that all elements within a society interconnect and work together. They compare society to a human body where everything is useful and needed. Even things like crime have a purpose, which through Functionalists rose tinted glasses is that it creates jobs for policemen etc. It is a system used by cultures, which concentrate on, and emphasises the functional interactions of their societies, i.e. why and how certain rituals, daily chores etc. are performed. It makes "law-like" generalisations, which are employed to explain and predict social phenomena. Talcott Parson (1902-1979) was an American sociologist who was converted to functionalism under the influence of the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski. Parson stated that “the social system is made up of the actions of individuals”. His starting point was the interaction between two individuals. Those individuals were faced with a variety of choices about how they might act. However, those choices are influenced and constrained by a number of physical and social factors Parsons determined that each individual has expectations of the other’s action and reaction to their own behaviour, and that these expectations are derived from the accepted norms and values of the society which they inhabit .These social norms are generally accepted and agreed upon. George Murdock (an American anthropologist 1897-1985) was another well known Functionalist, who said that the family have four universal functions, Sexual, Reproductive, Economic and Educational....
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