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Functionalism Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Functionalism Presentation

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…

Homelessness of Veterans

The threat of homelessness amongst veterans has become an increasingly growing issue. Through my extensive research I have found multiple reasons as to why this threat has occurred. Some examples of these are things such as the transition from military to civilian life, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and poverty. I am going to apply the functionalist and conflict perspectives in explaining the problems of homelessness amongst veterans. The first institution that fails veterans is the military. From the functionalist perspective the manifest function of the military is to train and structure a person into what is necessary to protect and serve their country. The latent functions of the military are to educate and to receive benefits such as health care…

A Functionalist View of Stratification

A functionalist view of stratification views stratification as necessary for a society to function efficiently which enables it to reach its full potential economically and socially. Functionalists view society as a set of interconnected parts which work together to form a whole. (Haralambos et al 1996) Institutions are part of the social system they are a prime contributor to the maintenance of a society. The functionalist view has been criticised, this essay seeks to explore some of these criticisms and give sufficient evidence to support their views on social stratification. A major functionalist theorist, Talcott parsons (1954), saw social stratification as inevitable as it derives from shared values, which are a necessary part of all social systems, and it is…

Functionalist and Conflict theories

Sociology is the study of society and the behaviour patterns of a particular group or culture. In contemporary Australian society, a good understanding of this is needed in order to make better social changes to meet social needs. When it comes to trying to explain and understand society, there are two main points of view that a person can take. These are the functionalist view, which is largely based on works by Talcott Parsons, and the conflict view, sometimes referred to as Marxism, as Karl Marx made a significant contribution towards this theory. Although in most ways these views directly oppose each other, ultimately, they are both trying to do the same thing, that is, explain why society is like…

Strengths and weaknesses of the functionalist approach to society

Assess the strength and weaknesses of the functionalist approach to society. (33 marks) Functionalism sees society as a whole rather that in parts as it has a macro-scale approach to society. This means that they see society as an organic analogy which means they see all institutions working together as organs do in a body. The organic analogy also shows that it is used to sustain the body and society as a whole. As functionalism is macro-scale, it could miss crucial groups and factors that are small such as tribes and gypsies. The un-acknowledgment of these groups could leave sociologists lacking important information about the functions of society which may be seen as a weakness. Middle He also commented on…

Functions of the Family

Over the years, the textbook definition of “the family” has disappeared. Every family is unique and has its own dynamic and for the most part, society has learned to adapt to these changes. From homosexual couples, to dual income families or even single parents, families have learned to survive based on their unique situations, as opposed to the functionalist idea of the ideal family which involves heterosexual parents and children, who through proper socialization and acceptance of social norms, work to meet the needs of society (“Functionalist”). Although each family is different, there are six functions of the family that work together to keep each society functioning. Each one of these functions plays an important role in each household and…

Merton’s Theory

One of the well know socialists of the twentieth century is Robert K. Merton (1910-2003). He is a major theorist who is known for creating several pivotal sociological concepts. One of his most important achievements has been the established connection between theory and research, thereby making the way for the course of sociology. Merton favored what he called middle range theories: these are theories that “lie between minor but necessary working hypotheses that evolve in abundance during day to day research and all inclusive systematic efforts to develop a unified theory that will explain all the observed uniformities of social behavior, social organization, and social change” ( Sztompka 1986). But what he gets most of his credit for is his…

Examine the functionalist view of the family

Broadly speaking, the functionalist perspective has focused on the functions of the family in society and for its members. In other words, it looks at how the family, as an institution, helps in maintaining order and stability in society, and the significance of the family for its individual members. There are two main functionalist views on the family – Murdock’s view and Parsons’ view. Murdock’s view on the family is that the family performs four basic functions for its individual members and society at large. These are the ‘sexual’, ‘reproductive’, ‘economic’ and ‘educational’ functions. The ‘sexual’ function refers to the regulation of sexual activity. Evidence for this being a functionalist view on the family is that the idea of the…