Strengths And Weaknesses Of Functionalism

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Functionalism is seen as a macro-scale attack to society ; it sees society as a whole instead than looking at parts of it. Due to this. functionalism sees society as a organic structure ( organic analogy ) . all the establishments work together to do society. This is peculiarly utile when detecting society in order to understand the manner in which it maps and the manner in which all the establishments ( organic analogy: variety meats within the organic structure ) work together to prolong society as a whole.

Functionalism being a macro-scale attack is hence seen as a strength as it allows functionalist sociologists to detect society. and its establishments. as a whole. Functionalism is besides seen as a consensus theory. it sees society as just and merely. and it acknowledges that many societies. including the bulk of western 1s.

have democracy and all persons within a peculiar society portion the same or similar norms and values. This could hence be seen as a strength as it acknowledges that democracy does be in many societies.

Strengths And Weaknesses Of Functionalism In Sociology

However. as functionalism is a macro-scale attack and sees society as a whole. it could lose important factors/ groups which contribute to the operation of society ; these include little groups and folks. such as itinerants. Not admiting these minority groups within society could take to functionalist sociologists missing important information about how society maps and how minority groups live within a big society.

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This could hence be seen as a failing of functionalism as it fails to admit that there are minority groups within society.

Besides. as functionalism is a consensus theory where all persons within a peculiar society portion the same or similar norms and values and sees society as being just and merely ; nevertheless. it fails to admit that there are inequalities within society. these inequalities could be present sums societal category. gender or ethnicity. However. other attacks. such as Marxism and Feminism acknowledge that there are inequalities within society which raises the inquiry as to whether functionalism is the most appropriate attack to utilize when analyzing society.

This is hence seen as a failing of functionalism as society does hold many inequalities which functionalism fails to admit. Talcott Parsons. a functionalist sociologist who elaborated on Durkheim’s work about society and its maps. claimed that society is like an being. in peculiar. the human organic structure. He argued that all establishments. such as the household and the instruction system. within society map together to keep society merely as the variety meats within a human organic structure work together to keep life.

In peculiar. Parsons identified three similarities between the human organic structure and society ; he claimed that they were both systems within themselves – all the parts of a organic structure and the establishments within society fit together in fixed ways. He besides identified that these ‘systems’ have demands – the human organic structure needs nutrition to assist it prolong life. whereas society demands equal socialization in order for society to go on working in the manner that it does.

Parsons besides stated that both the human organic structure and society have maps – the maps of the systems within the human organic structure guarantee that the body’s demands are fitting therefore keeping life ; whereas. in society. the economic system maps to keep the societal system. As parsons’ analogy helps sociologists to better understand the manner in which establishments in society work together to keep a ‘healthy’ society. it can be seen as a strength of functionalism as it helps to construction sociologists’ perceptual experiences about how society maps.

Parsons besides identified four demands of society and how they are met. He claimed that society needs version. this is where the stuff demands of society are met ; for illustration. persons within society work in order to derive their rewards which in bend provides for their stuff demands. He besides argued that society demands end attainment – society demands to put ends and accomplish them ; this demand is met via the political – political leaders set ends for society to accomplish and these ends help to better society.

Integration is another demand which Parsons identified. this is where coherence between the different establishments. such as the household and instruction system. is promoted ; this is done to avoid pandemonium and struggle. Latency is besides needed by society. this refers to the manner in which persons cope with jobs in society – they may turn to religion to cut down the strain which has been put on them by society. These demands which Parsons identified can be seen as a strength of society as they help sociologists to understand what society needs in order to work adequately.

However. functionalist sociologist. Merton disagreed with the demands which Parsons identified. Merton claims that Parsons ignored the fact that there are establishments within society that can be dysfunctional. for illustration. faith can organize coherence but can besides do divisions within society. Harmonizing to Merton. Parsons failed to admit this. Merton besides argues that Parsons fails to distinguish between intended ( manifest ) and unintended ( latent ) maps within society and hence. Parsons’ thought about the demands and maps of society are really simplistic.

Merton besides criticises Parsons’ thought about indispensableness. he assumes that everything is necessary in the manner that it is ; for illustration. kids can merely be socialised adequately in a two parent. atomic household. nevertheless. Merton rejects this claim as he argues that equal socialization can happen even within a individual parent household. Due to Merton’s statements. some facets of functionalism. such as the demands and maps of society. are seen as a failing of society.

There are besides other unfavorable judgments of functionalism ; it’s argued that functionalism explains the effects before the causes. For illustration. functionalism claims that kids need to socialised ( this is the consequence ) and hence the household exists ( this is the cause ) . Due to this. may sociologists argue that the functionalism attack is non one which can be used to explicate society decently. Besides. Marxist sociologists argue that functionalism has failed to explicate struggle and alteration within society ; the attack claims that society is harmonious and built on consensus.

However. Marxist and Feminist sociologists argue that development and inequality do be in many signifiers. such as societal category and gender inequality ; nevertheless. functionalism has failed to admit this and is hence considered to be an attack which has traditional political orientation which is outdated. This therefore shows defects to the functionalist attack and hence points out the failings within the functionalist attack.

Overall. in decision. the functionalist attack has many strengths and failings about the manner in which society maps and the demands it requires. It strengths are seen in the manner in which it explains the basic demands and map of society. these accounts can be used by other sociologists to better and keep an equal society. However. other attacks. such as Marxism and Feminism have criticised functionalism due to its deficiency of recognition of development and inequality which occurs within society. However. overall. it is a balanced statement.

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Strengths And Weaknesses Of Functionalism. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

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