SOC201H1 Lecture Notes - Talcott Parsons, Smalltown America Records, Structural Functionalism

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In studying weber, we have already encountered an ingredient of functionalist reasoning. The calvinists" otherworldy" concerns ensured their economic success. Their economic success was thus an unanticipated consequence, because they were not actually concerned with gaining monetary wealth. An example of functionalist analysis: the political machine (robert k. merton 1910-2003) Political machine: he referred to political organizations at the city level in the us from the late 1800-1900s that used a system in which politicians exchange favors for votes. (clientelism) Merton is thinking of places like new york city, boston, and chicago, which are all full of polish, italian, and irish immigrants. They migrated to america and had low ethnic status. Thus, a politician would go to a polish neighborhood, for example, and do favors for them (i. e. language help, housing permits, provide jobs) in exchange for votes at election time. Merton argues that this system had 2 unanticipated consequences:

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