Functionalist Theory Critical Analysis

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A Critical Analysis and Application of the Functionalist Theory The functionalist perspective is based largely on the works of Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, and Robert Merton. The idea of the perspective is quite simple. It is that, as the human body system works, the institutions in the society works interdependently for the proper functioning of the whole; the whole being the entire society. A number of key concepts underpin Functionalism. The primary concepts within Functionalism are collective conscience, value consensus, social order, education, family, crime and deviance and the media. (Bryant, 2018) Functionalism was once the most dominant sociology within America but, has declined more recently due criticisms…show more content…
These can be like laws that don’t affect the person in society apart from stopping a certain aspect of their behaviour from occurring. Durkheim suggests two ways in which these can occur firstly by determining the cause of it from previous facts, the other that it is needed to help one of the functions of society. Both are present in society as a whole, these according to functionalists control and maintain the functions of society that is mainly true in today’s society with law and order as a form of social control. Durkheim pointed out that in society a combination of social facts like morals and values, which restrict and keep some control over society, and needs like food and reproduction, which are essential. In present society this is also clearly present with values and norms taught throughout the socialization process and societies control that is mostly accepted and holds functions of society together and keep them functional. The functionalists are aware that these functions may not always run smoothly but believe there will always be enough compliance from all other ‘organs’ of society to keep it…show more content…
As society develops, institutions become more specialised and precise in their values and carry out fewer functions, this leads to a lapse in overall society values which changes society and re-integrates institutions with new prerequisites. I think this differentiation of society has happened but that the re-formation of the overall society as one system has not entirely happened like that functionalists describe society
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