Structural Functionism of Christmas

Topics: Sociology, Marxism, Social structure Pages: 2 (485 words) Published: May 8, 2013
What is the Structural Functionalism of Christmas?
In this paper I will discuss Structural Functionalism as well and how it relates to the conflict theory. I also intend to and discuss relevant sociological terms of these theories and how these theories could apply to my favorite holiday which is Christmas. Structural functionalism refers to the distinct structures or institutions that shape a society and each structure has a specific function or role to play in determining the behavior of the society.

There are several key assumptions in Structural Functionalist theory. One of these, is that societies strives towards equilibrium. Another assumption is that institutions are distinct and should be studied on an individual basis. Functionalism interprets each part of society in terms of how it contributes to the stability of the whole society. Functions differentiate among the following terms: manifest function, latent function, and dysfunction. A manifest function is the intended consequence of an institution. For example, manifest functions of Christmas for many would be bonding with family members and friends, exchanging gifts, and celebrating their religion. The latent function is the unintended consequence such as an increase in sales of toys at Christmas time. Dysfunctional events lessen the adjustment of a social system. For example, Christmas which is an economic driven holiday whereby you spend money for gifts.

The conflict theory is based on a number of important assumptions. According to these assumptions, society can be viewed as a combination of... of different conflicting forces. The situation like that inevitably ends in conflict.  The conflict in the society is also reasoned by the effect of moderate forces. There are two groups of the conflicting forces: custom and conflict forces. The mixture of these forces defines the present pattern of our society. This way of thinking is derived from Karl Marx’s, who saw society as being split into...
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