SOCC40H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Manifest And Latent Functions And Dysfunctions, Political Machine, Anomie

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Published on 25 Oct 2011
SOCC40 Lecture 6
5 identification quote ques
-core concept; say what it means, why it is important and significant, and
illustrate it with an example
Short essay; comparative ques
-if there is 2 one will be multiple options either on Parsons or Burton; second
ques will be comparative
-most likely will only be one comparative ques
Manifest function; what people have in their minds what the purpose of
something is
-purpose of education; to give people equal access to education
Latent function; what it actually does
Helps you understand irrational behavior
Helps facilitate sociological behavior
-Increases knowledge
Manifest functions are already known; what people think they are doing; just
ask them why they are doing something- commonly known
Latent functions are not obvious; about what people don’t know what they
are doing
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-if you look for latent functions you are more likely to increase knowledge;
likely to find out things you wouldn’t find out otherwise
-Avoids Moralizing
Into sociological research
When you are doing sociology, in the process of your research you want to
separate your morals- to provide an objective understanding of sociology
With manifest functions it is hard to do that
-example Merton gives is of the political machine; political machine is
phenomenon that occurs over and over again in big cities; happens when you
have a lot of new immigrants in city that doesn’t have a lot of social services
for those people- but new immigrants get to vote; people discovered in early
20th century that as new immigrants there are a lot of them and if they vote
for same person they will be in charge of the city- ethnic block voting; you
will get job, help others get job and there will be cycle of this
+to moralizing people, that equals corruption because people are taking
bribes for votes
+but if you examine latent function, you will see it is integrating people into
new society
one more example of Merton showing key part of middle range theorizing;
laying out simply idea and showing you how generative it can be
Merton thought that studying role sets gets to purely sociological analysis
How does one person deal with all the roles you have to go through in your
Merton says start with one role (Merton called role status- what you are
supposed to do within status is whole- student is status, role is learning stuff)
-student; idea is that any status, whoever is in that role has a bunch of other
roles that you have to deal with (role sets); such as professors, other
students, administration, dean, future employers, parents
+all of this occurs regardless of the person in the role
+point is it’s a package; whoever is in that role has to deal with all of that
+have to deal with conflicting demands no matter who you are; different
roles in your role sets will have different expectations of you; you will be
cross-pressured across the different roles
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