a. What are the functions of Wal-Mart for society?
Wal-Mart is an American multinational retail corporation and one of the leading discount department retail stores (Wikipedia). It is the highest- grossing company in the United States (Fortune 2008a), and is by far one of the most successful companies worldwide. Wal-Mart offers a place to buy the majority of our goods under one roof like electronics, furniture, clothing, pharmacy, sports, food, books etc. Wal-Mart sells good at lower price than the others and this is even shown by its slogan “save money, live better”. It drives out smaller and sometimes even the expensive stores out of business due to its lower prices. Wal-Mart provides jobs for thousands of people in the society including the low-skilled people. It represents a trend of one stop shopping where we can get almost everything that we want.
b. Are they the same or different from the functions of Wal-Mart in our individual lives? How do the two types of functions connect?
One of Wal-Mart belief and function is the respect for the individual. They have given importance of respect for every individual and every member of the community. For individuals; Wal-Mart offers convenience, good pricing and multiple products under one roof. It reduced the overall cost to consumers as they don’t have to go from one place to another to buy different goods.
c. Does Wal-Mart have both manifest and latent functions?
Manifest functions are conscious and beneficial whereas, latent ones are the unconscious, and beneficial. Yes, Wal-Mart does have both manifest and latent functions as they are found in every social institution. Its manifest function is that it’s a place where goods and services are exchanged. Making profit is also one of its manifest functions. Its latent functions could be many like a place for entertainment or a place to congregate. Another latent function could be to maintain social inequality by paying wages to