• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Durkheim & Functionalism Durkheim looked at how the big things affected the little people in society; the 'top-down' approach'

Extracts from this document...


Durkheim & Functionalism Durkheim looked at how the big things affected the little people in society; the 'top-down' approach'. - using systematic research - the idea of social structure - the idea of imperial research He came up with the idea of SOCIAL FACTS - these refer to social structures and cultural norms These 'social facts' are independent institutions that affect the way that people behave Durkheim argued that sociology should study these social facts, arguing that the belief systems, customs and institutions of society and the facts of the social world should all be considered as things in the same way as the objects and events of the natural world. ...read more.


morality, collective conscience) There were 3 main areas that Durkheim looked at: 1 - The transition from primary to modern society Primitive society he referred to as 'mechanistic' society Modern society he referred to as 'organic' society 2 - Suicide Durkheim concluded that the structure of society at any time affects the degree of social solidarity, this measured by the number of suicides. 3 - The idea of religion As society modernise, there was more than one way to show collective sentiment, and therefore religion became less important There were 3 main things that Durkheim emphasised: o Social Solidarity 'We belong to a common society, based upon things such as common culture, socialisation, basic values and norms. ...read more.


behaviour that is society; the 'will' of society Functionalists analyse how education fits into overall structure of society and its function it fulfils, and Durkheim was no different. He saw education as having a vital role to play in integrating industrial society and creating social solidarity through the teaching of norms and values. And it is these common norms and values that any society must have, according to Durkheim and functionalists in general. But he suggests that also deviance can still be functional for society as it can strengthen social solidarity, by punishing those who break the law. ?? ?? ?? ?? Andy Watkins U6W 12/09/2005 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Main features of Functionalism.

    Behaviour becomes institutionalized in such a way that it remains constant, no matter who occupies the status role. Society as a whole and each institution in society may be considered as a system of status roles, each governed by established norms and values.

  2. Marxism and Functionalism and their contribution to sport.

    A very recent example of money and its impact on sport is The England and Wales Cricket Board's decision to send its players to a World Cup match in Zimbabwe regardless political concerns due to the dictatorship of president Mugabe and the possible propaganda impact the match might have.

  1. The following essay will use the ideas of Durkheim to construct my social biography ...

    A final characteristic included in social facts is externality, which constitutes a reality sui-generis outside of any individual (Johnson, 1986). For example, when a child is born, it is born without any constraints. Among others, cleanliness, obedience, and respect are imposed on the child from the time they are born.

  2. Caryl churchill's "Top girls"

    They can be compared very distinctively. Also, there is Nijo who has always been second wife and there is Win who has an affair. Two characters were played by same person and they have similarities that they are both someone's second.

  1. Critically Examine the Subcultural Approach to Crime and Deviance.

    deviance, based around the particular experience that the individual has of the social world. Merton argues that different social classes, social groups, sub-cultural groups etc. socialise their members in slightly different ways, depending upon their particular social circumstances. Whilst he does not explore this idea in any great depth, a classic distinction between working-class and middle class socialisation is made.

  2. How successful was Durkheim in using the "Scientific method". In hindsight would you have ...

    of suicide with the incidence of various social factors (this is known as a multivariate analysis). His explanation for variations in suicide rates was different levels of social integration. In some societies people are tied more closely to each other through organisations like the family and religion than in other societies.

  1. The image of the 'big house'.

    [6] The gentry were cut off from the mass of people by social and class divisions, yet with the peasantry they shared a love for the countryside. Consequently, they experience a crisis of identity as they continually sought to define their place in society.

  2. Weber's general approach to sociology.

    The main criticisms are that Weber mislocated capitalism (historically); misinterpreted protestantism; misunderstood catholicism and misplaced causality. What it is important to remember however is that the criticisms apply to the example that Weber uses - protestant belief/capitalism. There are numerous other examples that can demonstrate the usefulness of his idea.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work