Topics: Sociology, Institution, Social structure Pages: 4 (1254 words) Published: September 3, 2013
Q. “The functionalist analysis of society has little strengths and many weaknesses”. Explain, and evaluate.

Functionalism first emerged in Europe during the 19th century. In the 40’s, and 50’s it became the dominant perspective in sociology particularly in the US. Functionalism sees society as a whole rather than in parts as it has a micro scale approach to society. This means that they see society as an organic analogy by which they see all institutions working together with consensus as organs do in a body which creates harmony in the society. The organic analogy also shows that it is used the body and society as a whole. However, the functionalist analysis has strengths as well as criticisms. Functionalism begins with the observation that behavior in society is structured. Social relationships are therefore patterned, and recurrent. The main parts of society, its institutions can be seen as a structure made up of interconnected roles or interrelated norms e.g. the family is made up of interconnected roles of the husband, wife, and their children. Social relationships within the family are structured in terms of a set of related norms. Function mean effect; therefore, the function of the family is the effect it has on other parts of the social structure and on society as a whole. The contribution an institution makes to the survival of the system e.g. the major function of the family is socialization of the children, which are also the new members of the society. This is an important contribution to the maintenance of the society, since order, stability, and cooperation largely depend on learned, shared values. Functionalist sociologists used to study the social stability. This is one of the main strength of functionalism. Sociologists can use functionalism to examine the relationship of social institutions with the wider society. This strength allows sociologists to study religious, educational, military, political, charitable organizations and...
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