Functionalism

hanni1995
Note by hanni1995, updated more than 1 year ago
hanni1995
Created by hanni1995 about 8 years ago
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Advanced Higher Sociology Note on Functionalism, created by hanni1995 on 05/19/2013.

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Describe two key features of Functionalism.Functionalism is a structural, consensus theory. This means it looks at society as a whole. One key feature of functionalism is that it adopts an organic analogy to understand society. This means it uses the human body to illustrate how the social system works. This is that each organ has to work together in order to survive. Functionalists believe this is the same with society, each aspect to society must work together in order to progress and survive. Another key feature of functionalism is that they believe there is a value consensus (shared values) within society. Functionalists believe this value consensus is created by society as a whole and decides what the, norms and values are within that society. Describe one strength and one weakness of Functionalism. One strength of functionalism is that it looks at society as a whole. This means they identify the major functions of key social institutions and look at how these affect individuals and small groups within society. This, in turn, help to explain how social structures affect human behaviour. One weakness of functionalism is that it ignores conflict within society. They find it difficult to explain how conflict can generate social change and that it exists within society. 

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