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Assess the Functionalist Theory of Culture essay

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Introduction

´╗┐Using item A, assess the functionalist theory of culture (25 marks) Item A According to functionalist sociologists, everything in society performs a function. This is also the case for culture. In the view of functionalists such as Durkheim, the key features of society is that it is orderly and harmonious ? despite the fact that different individuals may have competing or conflicting interests, they are still able to live together and cooperate with one another. Durkheim argues that this is because of the existence of a shared culture or values consensus. This shared culture binds us together by giving them a sense of belonging and a set of common goals, which they can achieve through cooperation. ...read more.

Middle

He argues that this is because of shared culture showing that he believed that everything with in society does in fact have a purpose and when together is orderly. Another belief of Durkheim is that society and culture were more important than an individual person. His belief was based on an observation based on society existing before a person is born and after an individual dies. Durkheim also noted that modern industrial societies are characterised by social order rather than chaos and anarchy. Many functionalists see culture as bonding individuals together. Life is seen to be patterned and predictable by many functionalist but Durkheim however, believes that it was values of consensus that brings together members in society. ...read more.

Conclusion

Marxism also has criticisms. People argue that the Marxist theory may be guilty of exaggerating social class as the main source of conflict in societies. There is evidence that gender, religion, ethnicity and nationalism are as important as a causes of inequality. Marxism also assumes that the working class are the victims of the upper class? culture and ideology. Overall, different groups and theorists have different approaches and views on how society and culture function. Functionalists see culture as everything having a purpose and see it as working orderly and harmoniously. However, Marxists see culture, as being separated into two completely different groups one being the bourgeoisies, the upper class, and the proletariat, the working class. ...read more.

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