The Importance Of Functionalism

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One major perspective in sociology is functionalism, this theory believes that a society 's beliefs, behaviour and social structure, are interrelated and function as a means to achieve its common goals (Collins Dictionary 2018). Another is Marxism, which is based on the ideas of Karl Marx (1818-1883), that believes that society and human institutions are economically fixed, and stresses the importance of the struggle within classes (Brisbane 2015a). Each sociological perspective has views on behaviour, structure within society and institutions such as education, religion and the criminal system-some of which are comparable and others that are dissimilar.
Functionalism is a consensus theory that stresses the idea that societies work best when their members agree on fundamental principles of how society should be ordered and share common beliefs, values and norms (Brisbane 2015a). One main theorist Durkheim (1858– 1917) argued that members of societies need to feel a sense of belonging to a larger community and a shared identity (Billingham 2015). Another functionalist, Parsons (1902– 79), highlighted the importance of socialisation in creating a value consensus within society. He saw institutions such as education, media and religious organisations as working together to transfer shared norms and values to each generation ensuring stability and continuity in society (Brisbane 2015a).
Marxism is a conflict theory that believes that most societies have social inequalities
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