Structural Functionalism is simply known as Functionalism; it is defined as a system of parts, all of which serve a function together for an overall effectiveness and efficiency for society. This theory views norms, customs, traditions, and institutions that surround society and society should acknowledge different elements to gain social stability. Failure to do so results in imbalance, negative attitudes, war, and misunderstanding in a community. An example can portray this concept: for instance, the government or state, 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. If it all goes well, parts of the society produce order, stability, and productivity. If it does not go well, parts of the society then must adapt to recapture a new order, stability, and productivity. Functionalists accept the fact that change is sometimes necessary to correct social dysfunctions (the opposite of functions), but it must occur slowly so that people and institutions can adapt without any rapid disorder. A set of theories that differs from Functionalism is the Conflict Theory. Conflict Theory states that "society or an organization functions so that each individual participant and its groups struggle to maximize their benefits, which inevitably contributes to social change such as political changes and revolutions" (http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry./Conflict_theory). Functionalism makes seven main assumptions which focuses on several level of analysis which are [society, community, individual, social unit (ex. family, organizations, and so forth)].
Functionalism focuses on "macro-level (looks at large-scale social institutions like society as a while, government, the labor force, and so forth)" (http://structuralfunctionalism.com/). It...
References: Friley, G. (2012). Understanding Human Society .
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