Sociology – Functionalism

Sociology – Functionalism

We give meaning to things based on our social interactions with things; since in the earlier years men were the only doctors and are still dominant in the medical field we typically will characterize men as the doctors and women as nurses. However, since Woman are obtaining more power and are able to become doctors that means that a doctor was only a man is changing. “From the perspective of functional analysis, society is a functioning unit, with each art related to the whole. ” (Heinlein, 2013, pig. 9) This perspective really makes me think of Brave New World by Aloud Huxley; in the book it was clear that in order for their perfect society to survive, all the different class systems had to be present and work with each other. In order to maintain a social equilibrium in a society, every structure needs to have a function that meets a need of the society, and all the structure then work together. For example, FAST, the government gives aid to young adults in need that want o attend college to get good jobs, these children will later support their community.

Functionalism is a nice way to look at society with its nice equilibrium of institutions, however, for me it has a lot of flaws. It focuses too much on the institutions and the big picture rather than focus on the importance of the people. It also does not really explain social change and conflicts that are inevitable factors in a society. In contrast to the functional analysis, conflict theory focuses on the inequalities of different groups in a society. Karl Marx, the founder of conflict theory, witnessed the Industrial Revolution that transformed Europe. He saw that peasants who had left the land to work in cities earned barely enough to eat. Things were so bad that he average worker died at age 30, the average wealthy person at age 50″ (Heinlein, 2013, pig. 61) The women’s suffrage movement is a good example of a conflict that brought attention to a problem and eventually changed society. That is a perfect example on how conflict theory makes a drastic impact on societies.

Ultimately think that in order to get the best view on social life with the most accuracy it is best to combine the three. “Just as Marx examined conflict between capitalists and workers, many feminists analyze conflict between men and women… Feminists are not united by the conflict perspective, however. They tackle a variety Of topics and use whatever theory applies. ” (Heinlein, 201 3, pig. 61) I think when researching a new topic it is best to use whatever theory’ applies.

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