Functionalist and Symbolic Interactionist

Good Essays
Functionalist and Symbolic Interactionist

Functionalist and Symbolic Interactionist

SO1050 Sociology

Functionalist, also known as structural functionalism because of its views on the ways social structures accompanies social needs. In perspective, functionalism structures social influences by what is visible and in demand now. (Boundless.com/Sociology)Functionalism has been criticized for downplaying the role of individual action, and for being unable to account for social change. In the functionalist perspective, society and its institutions are the primary units of analysis. Individuals are significant only in terms of their places within social systems (i.e., social status and position in patterns of social relations). Functionalists have been disputed because of its terms of how socialism is accounted, because of how it lacks the support and accredited ability of one’s actions and how socialization transforms during its process. Functionalist is the oldest theory but the most popular one used to determine groups because of its basic terms toward how social groups react and functions of how the mind and body works. The structure of how people interact with others and the ability to fit in certain groups are determined by the mind state of acceptability. When evaluating functionalism it is more of a hypothesis that could be proven right or wrong in its factor of determining how society works when it comes to grouping and organizations of people by characteristics. (Boundless.com/Sociology)Structural functionalism, or simply functionalism, is a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. Symbolic Interactionist, known also as symbolic interaction perspective, is a form of social grouping based on how people are forcefully placed into groups, events and social organizations. Unlike

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Functionalism sees society as a system, that it is a set of interconnected parts which can work together in unison to form a whole. The early functionalists drew an analogy between society and an organism, i.e, the human body. They said that an understanding of an organ of the body involves understanding its relationship with every other organ and its contribution to the organism as a whole; therefore they said that this could also describe society, that every part requires its own analysis to see what it contributes to the society as whole. Functionalists have also continued this argument to say that just like an organ has simple basic needs to survive, so does society, and that if one part fails it will all diminish. Thus social institutions such as the family and religion are analysed as a part of the social order rather than isolated units. 

Functionalist analysis has focused on the question of how social systems are maintained. With the functionalist concern for investigating on how functional prerequisites (basic needs or necessities of existence) are met. This emphasis has resulted in many institutions being seen as beneficial and useful to society. But this view has led critics to argue that functionalism has a built-in conservative bias which supports the status quo. 

Within society the functionalists outline what they call functional prerequisites, these are what society requires in order to exist. Some functionalists believe that these prerequisites are institutions such as family or social stratification. They are easily identified in every type of society even though they can vary, like the caste system in India varies a great deal from our own stratification system but affects the whole society and makes it functional which fits their definition of a prerequisite. This view is held by sociologists such as Davies and Moore (1967) and Murdock (1949). However…

    • 2803 Words
    • 12 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Functionalism has a macro-structural approach to society. It looks at society as a whole and is known as a consensus perspective i.e. everyone agrees on social norms and values and people work together to maintain society. These norms and values are learned by social institutions such as the family, education, media, religion, law and work. Functionalists believe society is arranged similar to the human body and its vital organs. If one should malfunction, then the others will be affected. This organic analogy keeps society functioning and these institutions have functional dependency on each other. These ideas go back to Emile Durkheim (1858-1917), the French sociologist who is considered to be the founding father of functionalist sociology and whose writings form the basis for the functionalist theory(McClelland 2000).…

    • 2075 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Mr Stefan Sledmore

    • 1499 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Functionalism is a structural theory based on value consensus. Functionalists believe that in order to achieve solidarity, society has two key mechanisms, ‘Socialisation’ and ‘Social Control.’ ‘Socialisation’ is the process by which we learn the norms and values of society, firstly through the family and then through other institutions such as education. ‘Social Control’ means the formal ways of insuring people conform to the mainstream norms and values of society.…

    • 1499 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Functionalist views are based on that society is a system of interdependent parts held together by a shared culture or consensus. They believe that every part of society performs functions that help keep society running effectively. They use the example of a body to explain the way society runs as each part of our body has to work together in order for us to stay alive this is the same as society according to a functionalist.…

    • 667 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The first theory is Functionalism. Functionalism is the theory that human behaviour is influenced by social structure and is based on shared values. It is in the macro-level of society. The theorists who are involved with Functionalism are Talcott Parsons, a sociologist who believes that society’s social structures are connected and rely on each other, and Robert Merton, another sociologist who stated that social structures can only be examined by both stability and change.…

    • 583 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Sociological Perspective

    • 480 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Firstly, functionalists believe that society is viewed as a “system of interconnected parts” that works collectively in order to sustain a sense of social balance within the world. For example, each of the social institutions is responsible for providing essential functions to society: Family is seen as accountable for “reproducing, nurturing and socialising children”, whereas education provides…

    • 480 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Sociology

    • 3791 Words
    • 16 Pages

    Functionalism is the oldest, and still the dominant, theoretical perspective in sociology and many other social sciences. This perspective is built upon twin emphases: application of the scientific method to the objective social world and use of an analogy between the individual organism and society.…

    • 3791 Words
    • 16 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Symbolic Interactionism is the analysis of an individual’s interaction while in another person’s presence (face-to-face) and the usage of symbols created in social life. With different groups of people fighting for equality in the most recent years same-sex couples have been fighting for the rights of being legally married to their partners.…

    • 408 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    unit 7 p1

    • 1140 Words
    • 4 Pages

    In 1951, Talcott Parsons introduced the Functionalist view which studies the social structure as a whole of how it functions and how each social structure is important in the interests of society. Functionalism believes that humans and the society have some basic needs, institutions and governments may be responsible to meet the required needs also the functionalist may consider that they are different kinds of sources that may limit the individual’s behaviour within the chosen society, meaning that the society will behave appropriately based on someone's behaviour while having the same values, on the other hand the functionalist view does recognise that there may be errors or inequalities within the society but bearing in mind this can be functional for the society.…

    • 1140 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Sociology and Coffee

    • 891 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Functionalism is another social theoretical approach which emphasizes the study of social activity as society functions as a…

    • 891 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    unit 7

    • 3346 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Functionalism: According to the functionalist perspective of sociology, each aspect of society is interdependent and contributes to society's stability and functioning as a whole. For example, the government provides education for the children of the family, which in turn pays taxes on which the state depends to keep itself running. The family is dependent upon the school to help children grow up to have good jobs so that they can raise and support their own families.…

    • 3346 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    SOC 101

    • 1844 Words
    • 8 Pages

    The Functionalist Perspective is a sociological perspective that emphasizes each part of society contributing to the survival of that society. In Sociology in Modules, they define the functionalists perspective as, “A sociological approach that emphasizes the way in which the parts of a society are structured to maintain its stability (Schaefer 15).” The functionalist perspective can be compared to the human body model. Each part of the body performs specific tasks. For example, our legs allow us to walk or run and our lungs allow us to breathe. Without each and every body part, one simply cannot perform to the maximum potential. Now when a functionalist is looking at a society, they may see different social groups that contribute to a larger population.…

    • 1844 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    However, as functionalism is a macro-scale approach and sees society as a whole, it could miss crucial factors/ groups which contribute to the functioning of society; these include small groups and tribes, such as gipsies. Not acknowledging these minority groups within society could lead to functionalist sociologists lacking crucial information about how society functions and how minority groups live within a large society. This could therefore be seen as a weakness of functionalism as it fails to acknowledge that there are minority groups within society. Also, as functionalism is a consensus theory where all individuals within a particular society share the same or similar norms and values and sees society as being fair and just; however, it fails to acknowledge that there are inequalities within society, these inequalities could be present amounts social class,…

    • 1163 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The first major theoretical perspective is the functionalist perspective, which also goes by the names functionalism and structural functionalism. These types of perspectives are commonly based on the theory that society is a stable, orderly system. Under the functionalist perspective, a society is said to be composed of many different parts, which are interrelated and serves different functions that in the end contributes to the stability of the society. Many factors, such as education, family, government, the economy, and religion, all play an important role in the survival of a society. If anything is to happen to one of these factors, the other factors will be affected, and would cause the system…

    • 1097 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Functionalism is often referred to as the consensus theory because it does not address the issue of conflict in society, and functionalists believe that society operates in a harmonious way that maintains itself in a state of balance, remaining healthy and co-ordinated and any sudden practices that may upset the balance are rejected:…

    • 1933 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays

Related Topics