Functionalism Flashcards Preview

Sociology Theory - SCLY4 > Functionalism > Flashcards

Flashcards in Functionalism Deck (24)
Loading flashcards...

What do functionalists describe society as?

And organic analogy - we are like a biological organism


Parsons identifies 3 similarities between society and a biological organism. What are they?

System (Both self regulating), System needs (It's members need socialisation and organisms have needs) and Functions (Institutions in society contribute to societies overall wellbeing)


How are individuals able to cooperate harmoniously in society?

Through a shared culture and norms & values that create a value consensus


What is the importance of the integration of individuals in society?

It makes social order possible by integrating us to meet society's needs


What must be done to create social order?

Social needs must be met


What are the 2 mechanisms used by the system to ensure we conform to shared norms and values?

Socialisation, which internalises the norms and values and social control


What is the consequence of conformity?

Behaviour will be predictable but will be towards the common good


What coordinates the different parts of society to ensure its needs are met?

Shared values


Parsons identifies 4 needs - the AGIL schema which are each met by a separate sub-system of institutions. What are these needs, and what subsystem are they met by?

Adaptation (economic), Goal attainment (political), Integration (religion and the media) and Latency (kinship)


Which of the 4 needs that parsons identifies can be categorised as instrumental needs?

Adaptation and Goal attainment


Which of the 4 needs that parsons identifies can be categorised as expressive needs?

Integration and Latency


Two types of society have been identified by functionalists. What are they?

Traditional and Modern


What are the 5 sets of norms within traditional societies?

Ascription, diffuseness, particularism, affectivity and collective orientation


What are the 5 sets of norms within modern societies?

Achievement, specificity, universalism, affective neutrality and self orientation


What are functionalists views on social change?

Functionalists believe that change is a gradual, evolutionary process where we move from a simple to complex society


Once societies develop, what do functionalists believe occurs?

Structural differentiation


Merton criticises 3 assumptions of Parsons. What are these criticisms?

Indispensability (functional alternatives for processes such as primary socialisation), Functional utility (functional autonomy), Universal functionalism (not everything performs positive functions)


What is a manifest function?

An intended outcome


What is a latent function?

A secondary/unintended outcome


Give an example of a tradition that has both manifest and latent functions?

Hopi Indians doing a rain-dance for rain to come


What are the logical criticisms of functionalism?

A real explanation is finding the cause of something, as cause comes before effect but functionalism explains the existence of one thing in terms of something else that can only be its effect and it is unscientific


What are conflict perspective criticisms?

Functionalism can't explain conflict and change, Marxists believe society is based on class exploitations, Stability is just the result of the dominant class using ideological manipulation


What are action perspective criticisms of functionalism?

Dennis Wrong takes a deterministic view of the individual and they believe that individuals create societies, societies don't create individuals


What are post modern criticisms of functionalism?

Functionalism can't account for the fragmentation of society and it is a meta-narrative or 'big story' that attempts to look at the whole of society