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Assess the contribution of functionalist theory to our understanding of society
The first 200 words of this essay...
Assess the contribution of functionalist theory
to our understanding of society
Functionalism sees society as a system, that it is a set of interconnected parts which can work together in unison to form a whole. The early functionalists drew an analogy between society and an organism, i.e, the human body. They said that an understanding of an organ of the body involves understanding its relationship with every other organ and its contribution to the organism as a whole; therefore they said that this could also describe society, that every part requires its own analysis to see what it contributes to the society as whole. Functionalists have also continued this argument to say that just like an organ has simple basic needs to survive, so does society, and that if one part fails it will all diminish. Thus social institutions such as the family and religion are analysed as a part of the social order rather than isolated units.
Functionalist analysis has focused on the question of how social systems are maintained. With the functionalist concern for investigating on how functional prerequisites (basic needs or necessities of existence) are met. This emphasis has resulted in many institutions
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""Yvette Agars. Senior History Teacher. Saint John's College. Whyalla S.A.