Detailed Description[ edit ] The structural-functional approach is a perspective in sociology that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability.
Edit Herbert Spencera British sociologist and social philosopher, was in many ways the first true sociological functionalist Turner, The core of his theory is an evolutionary model that, unlike most nineteenth century evolutionary theorists, was cyclical.
It should be noted that Spencer was not a determinist in the sense that he never said that a selection pressures will be felt in time to change them, b that they will be felt and reacted to, and c the solutions will always work.
In other words, he saw a general trend towards the centralization of power as leading to stagnation and ultimately, pressure to decentralize. More specifically, Spencer recognized three functional needs or requisites that produced selection pressures: He argued that all societies needed to solve problems of control and coordination, production of goods, services, and ideas, and finally, find ways to distribute these Fuctionalism as sociology.
Initially, in tribal societies, all three of these needs are inseparable, and the kinship system is the dominant structure satisfying them.
As many scholars have noted, all institutions were subsumed under kinship organization Nolan and Lenski, ; Maryanski and Turner However, with increasing population -- both in terms of sheer numbers and density -- problems emerged in regards to feeding individuals, creating new forms of organization i.
The solution, as Spencer sees it, would be to differentiate structures to fulfil more specialized functions. Thus, a chief or "big man" emerges, followed soon by a group of lieutenants, and later kings and administrators.
Thus, he coined the term "survival of the fittest" in discussing the simple fact that small tribes or societies tend to be defeated or conquered by larger societies. The sad irony is that many individuals who consider themselves scholars have failed to separate the man who like many white males from the 19th century was racist and probably sexist from our contemporary point of view from the work, and as a result, his nuanced discussions of political dynamics, power, and economic dynamics have gone unheralded.
Of course, many sociologists use him either knowingly or unknowingly in their analyses; this is especially the case in the recent re-emergence of evolutionary theory. Talcott Parsons Edit Talcott Parsons was heavily influenced by Durkheim and Max Webersynthesising much of their work into his theory.
His starting point was the interaction between two individuals [Parsons, Those individual were faced with a variety of choices about how they might act.
However, those choices are influenced and constrained by a number of physical and social factors [Craib, These social norms are generally accepted and agreed upon [Gingrich, ].
As the behaviours are repeated in more interactions and these expectations are entrenched or institutionalised a role is created. Furthermore, one person fulfills many different roles at the same time. Certainly today, when asked to describe themselves most people would answer with reference to their roles in society.
Parsons then developed the idea of roles into collectivities of roles that complemented each other in fulfilling functions for society [Parsons, Some of the roles are bound up in institutions and social structures, such as economic, educational, legal, and even gender structures.
These structures are functional in the sense they assist society to operate [Gingrich, ], and fulfill its functional needs so that the society runs smoothly. A society where there is no conflict, where everyone knows what is expected of them, and where these expectations are constantly being met, is in a perfect state of equilibrium.
The key processes for Parsons in attaining this equilibrium are socialisation and social control.The Three Main Sociological Perspectives 1 The Three Main Sociological Perspectives From Mooney, Knox, and Schacht, Understanding Social Problems, 5 th edition Theories in sociology provide us with different perspectives with which to view our social world.
Functionalism in the philosophy of mind is the doctrine that what makes something a mental state of a particular type does not depend on its internal constitution, but rather on the way it functions, or the role it plays, in the system of which it is a part.
Criticism. One criticism of the structural-functional theory is that it can’t adequately explain social change. Also problematic is the somewhat circular nature of this theory; repetitive behavior patterns are assumed to have a function, yet we profess to know that they have a function only because they are repeated.
The functionalist perspective (functionalism) is a major theoretical perspective in sociology, focusing on the macro-level of social structure. The functionalist perspective (functionalism) is a major theoretical perspective in sociology, focusing on the macro-level of social structure.
Aug 15, · Functionalist Perspective The functionalist perspective is based largely on the works of Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, and Robert Merton. What are some examples of functionalist perspective in sociology? Update Cancel.
ad by Aha! What is the functionalism of sociology? What are some examples? The Three Main Sociological Perspectives 1 The Three Main Sociological Perspectives From Mooney, Knox, and Schacht, Understanding Social Problems, 5 th edition Theories in sociology provide us with different perspectives with .