Functionalist Perspective, (: ( (Warm Bath Theory), Primary Socialisation…
Functionalism is one of the key sociological perspectives and is known as a consensus theory as it is characterised by the idea that society requires shared norms and values in order for it function properly. Institutions in society (such as the family, education, the media, etc.) have clear social functions, which ensure there is a broad consensus about the norms and values of society and which enable organic and orderly social change.
Concerned with understanding rapid social change brought about with industrialisation
Society exists as a separate entity above its members, as a system of ‘social facts’. It affects people irrespective of their individual thoughts and feelings.
Evaluations of Funtionalism
Durkheim’s study on suicide – trends still true today
Governments view society as a system
Development theorists view society as a system
Postmodernist Critiques – society is not as stable, orderly, or predictable as Functionalists suggest.
Society is based on value consensus and social order
Society needs individuals to be integrated – this is achieved through socialisation and social control
Social change is gradual and evolutionary/ progressive – societies gradually evolve by moving from simple to more complex and larger structures.
Murdock 4 family functions
Warm Bath Theory
Parsons functional fit thery