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Discuss the view that the culture of society is based on consensus.

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Introduction

Sociology Essay 'Discuss the view that the culture of society is based on consensus.' The view that culture is based on consensus is a Functionalist theory. Functionalism first emerged in the nineteenth century Europe, one of the most influential sociologists at the time was the French sociologist Emile Durkheim. Emile Durkheim was born on the 15th of April 1858. The concept of function played a key role in all of Durkheim's work from 'The Division of Labour' in which he sees his prime objective in the determination of "the functions of division of labour, that is to say what social needs it satisfies". It was developed by American Sociologists in the twentieth century. Functionalism remained the dominate theory until the mid 1960's. It is a structulist theory so it sees an individual as less important than society as a whole. ...read more.

Middle

And finally Functionalism puts too much focus on order and consensus, cultural differences may be present in the same society and people of the same culture are not identical. The Functionalist theory like all other theories can't provide all the answers and there are theories that disagree completely with the Functionalist view. For example Marxists believe culture is based on conflict rather that consensus. This theory became increasingly influential during the 1970's partly because of the decline in Functionalism. The Marxist theory begins with the simple observation that in order to survive people must enter into different social relationships with other people as production is a social enterprise. Each stage in the development of production will correspond with a different social relationship of production. Marxists believe that members of different classes (particle the upper & working class) ...read more.

Conclusion

Society is the result of people coming together in social groups and trying to make sense of their own and other people's behavior. All things considered the theory I tend to agree with most is Functionalism. Out of the two main pools of thought (Marxism and Functionalism) the Functionalist theory makes most sense to me, looking at our society there are obvious social groups that are inter depend on each other for example criminal groups and the police, if no one broke the law then society would not need the police. These groups also cut across the social classes, the scull probation teacher is working class and the chief inspector of schools is high earning middle class but both are part of the education system. Society is not mad up of layers but different groups of people which fit together to make up society. ?? ?? ?? ?? Yana Austin 26/04/07 Rebecca Jones 1 ...read more.

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