Dominant Paradigm until the 1970s
Emile Durkheim is considered the founding father.
Viewed Society as a smooth running machine
Deviance: Occurs when something in that smooth running machine breaks
Deviance was viewed as a natural product of the social order and
symptomatic of a problem that must be corrected.
The Solution to deviance: Treatment and Rehabilitation. Change the person
and not the system
Three Main Points of Functionalism
- Status Quo
View of the Individual
People are little pieces of the machine, playing their own role and keeping harmony.
People are imminently perfect-able through the process of socialization (they are
able to be molded)
It is society’s job to shape each person after itself.
Anomie: is the sate of normlessness
Anomic Suicide: “Normal” response to a lack of moral regulation
Durkheim: “We need rules and regulations; they are the part of the process that
holds the social system together”
Structural Functionalism and Deviance
- The structure of society and its systems produce structural stain that cause
- Social Conditions are frequently structured in such a way that they
UNINTENTIONALLY produce deviance.
- Subcultural solutions to strain (ie Police)
Strategic Assumptions of Functionalism
1) Functional Requirements of system survival
2) To look at deviance that has persisted and tries to find out what effects it
produces that would explain its contribution to the survival of the system.
(For example it was argued that prostitution helps the family unit because
men need more sex than women) Manifest and Latent Functions
- Robert Merton
- Manifest Functions: Those are visible, comprehensible and overt.
- Latent Functions: those whose consequences are less obvious and often
- eufunction is the positive consequences of deviance.