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Lecture 6

Functionalism (week 6).docx

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SOCY 275
Stacey Alerie

Functionalism 1930-1950  Focus is on society as a whole o A social system, o interrelationships that existed- o Looks at parts of society, institutions, o Society is a super organism  Every part exists on its own and together, parts to maintain the system  3 main claims o Societies as systems  Parts interacting individually that contribute to the whole,  Eg schools university's families, politics, religion o Societal needs were different from individuals needs  Everyday society has needs, the entire system has needs,  Society as a whole must address these needs, not individuals on their own-  Political issues, economy- affect individuals o Society develops along evolutionary lines  Systems with needs that develop and will change  Society from agriculture to industrial  when one system changes, so do others  Functionalist always sees society as a whole, studies variety Functionalism  Social institutions interact to create order  Deviance is necessary for social life  Functionalist sees structures and how individual actions are related to social structure o Social structure changes, changes individuals- system as a whole creates social life Crime  Each part and process in society contributes to the entire system  Crime has a function in society o Beneficial but not obvious o What ever doesn't have a function will die out  Evolutionary  Anything that serves a function in society, will stay, such as crime and deviance ,  Isn't always good, but it has a purpose and is contributing to that society, purpose has intended function Durkheim  Manifest Functions o Directly observable, comprehensible o Visible  Latent functions o Less easily recognized o Hidden  Social life could not progress without understanding latent and manifest functions in behaviour o Have to understand both functions  Eg prostitution, Kingsley davis o Latent, positive consequences, o Continues even though society has evolved, o Serves a function  Satisfies sexual beings  Outlet,  Economic function,  Boundaries of acceptable behaviours in society-  Society believes in collective conscience (marriage)  This group will feel superior compared to those who believe in prostitution, they reaffirm what is acceptable and what is valued in that society What is Functional Purpose of Crime and deviance  Contributed to social change  Major consequences/punishments revolve around collective conscience and reaffirms their superiority and values (majority rule of what is right) forces people to asses their rules  Tension release  Scape goating o Place blame on person and brings people together to blame others o Superiority and inferiority  Reassessment of rules Durkheim  When crimes are committed it can cause social change, change of rules (galileo)  Deviants were not abnormal, they serve a function to balance out society What constitutes a deviant act- Functionalist- Durkheim  -Reaction- o How collective reacts, defines deviance o Society determines how much behaviour they can tolerate o Has to offend collective conscience and values, group solidarity Approach to study social world  Organism- society  Macro level o Presence of phenomena across society, what was normal  Pathological- crime was always in society o Divergence from average as indicating pathology  Crime was normal because it exists in every society o Crime too low is also pathological, won't grow, too much crime is pathological Structural argument  Communities capacity to handle deviance o Focusing on structures  Society balances itself out o (chicago school blamed weak social structures that permit deviance, no social control)  Functionalists claim that structures produce strain, that then cause deviance o Eg. Societies Expectations vs. Reality o Structure p
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