SOC 203 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Bad Life, Harmony Society, Anomie

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6 Aug 2016
Soc 203 Functionalism
Functionalists view society as a living organism, composed of many parts each fulfilling a
specific function
Society is a social system composed of different parts
Family: Produce, nurture, teach, and socialize children
-Husband is to provide economically for family
-Wife is to provide nurturing and support
-Family teaches children societal norms and values
Religion: supports system by teaching norms and values and gives means of dealing with
life’s problems
Education system teaches and trains children for life/employment
- Schools reinforces societal norms and values
-Schools sort individuals based on ability and matches jobs that best suit the ability
Balance and Stability
Society is healthy when all parts of the social system perform their function
When one does not perform their function it will affect the other parts (affecting all of
Schools are given role to create inequality
-School sorts students based on talent and skill
-Are responsible for giving social position in life
If you do well you will have a good life, if you do bad you have a bad life
Inequality is accepted because it is believe that everyone has equal opportunity
Problems will always occur either because one part will fail to perform its manifest function
or when a part performs an unintended latent function
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