Functionalists theory assumes that a certain degree of order and stability is essential for the survival of social systems. Without it, society may be exposed to chaos and disorder. Therefore, social order is essential for society and it refers to shared nor,s and values, which provide the foundation for cooperation, since common values produce goals. Functionalists believe that social order exists in the concept of value consensus to a large extent. Functionalists believe that without collective conscience/shared values and beliefs, achieving social order is impossible and social order is crucial for the well-being of society.
They believe that value consensus forms the basic integrating principle in society. And if members of society have shared values they therefore also have similar identities, this helps cooperation and avoids conflict. Talcott Parsons argues that social order is achieved through the existence of a shared value system. According to him, Social order is only possible as long as members of the society agree on these norms and values. This agreement is called value consensus.
Parsons argues that socialization helps to ensure that individuals conform to shared values and meet the systems needs. Through the socialization process individuals internalize the systems norms and values so that society becomes part of their personality structure. Different agencies of socialization such as family, school. etc On the other hand, The Marxists see the functionalists view of consensus as pure fiction. According to them, what actually happens is that the rich force the rest of the population to compliance and conformity.
According to them there are scarce resources such as prestige, power and wealth, and the demands for these things exceed the supply. Those who get in control of these resources now use it for their interest at the expense of others. In conclusion, the functionalists theory sees social order as being maintained by value consensus. According to them, the society is organized, well integrated and stable through value consensus. While the Marxists see this view of consensus as pure fiction and say that social order is maintained by force.
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