Theories have been composed and exposed by various philosophers to clarify their reasoning about the mind. Dualism, Behaviorism, and Identity Theory, are well-known theories supported by well-written explanations. A modern theory, Functionalism provides ample insight to the main problem philosophers deal with, the mind/body problem.
The Functionalist theory emphasizes the contributions (functions) that all parts of society (e.g., social institutions) make within society. This theory has contributed to sociology by providing a view “which emphasizes the way in which the parts of a society are structured to maintain stability.” (Schafer 2013, pg13)
Functional theory was influenced by Emile Durkheim. Adherents of this theory emphasize, "Various parts of society have functions or positive effects that promote solidarity and maintain the stability of the whole." (Parrillo 11) Thus a society is held together by
Moreover, Societies are held together by both consensus with values and coercion. The functionalist view is that the balance of harmony among the society is held up by societal institutions. For example, schools, church and family are seen as the most significant foundation for an adequately functional society.
In this essay I am going to compare and contrast Functionalism and Marxism. They are both sociological perspectives which have theories about society and the people that live within it. They attempt to explain how society influences people, and similarly how people influence society. However, the two perspectives are clearly different.
2. Durkheim: What term does Durkheim associate with social solidarity? How do societies achieve it organically and mechanically? What did he think threatened social solidarity?
As organic solidarity is typical of complex, industrialised societies, Durkheim’s theory is very applicable to modern life and the first world in particular. Individuality is a major feature of people living in the western world today e.g. the USA, UK, and Ireland. This is evident in our political and social thinking. Much emphasis is placed on personal rights and the belief that nothing is more important than us. (Hughes et al, 1995) Meanwhile we are not self-sufficient; we rely heavily on the expertise of thousands globally to live our daily lives e.g. the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the cars we drive etc. (Macionis and Plummer, 2005)
Functionalism is a consensus perspective, whereby society is based on shared values and norms into which members are socialised. For functionalists, society is seen as a system of social institutions such as the economy, religion and the family all of which perform socialisation functions.
In addition too, Symbolic Interactionism perspectives, there is Functionalism Perspective. The idea of the Functionalist perspective leads back to Emile Durkheim, a French sociologist whose writings form the core of the functionalist theory (McClelland, 2000). Functionalism is what happens when social structures have positive effects on the constancy of society. It is the frame work for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote harmony and stability. There are also three assumptions behind functionalism theory, Stability, Harmony, and Evolutions. Those who use social structure theory focus on studying the nature and the consequences of social structures. It also focuses on a relatively state pattern of social behavior. This gives our lives shape in
After determining what resulted from modernization, Durkheim unlike Marx was interested in reforming not eliminating modern society. In analyzing Durkheim’s theory of modern society, I will begin with the focal point of it, namely solidarity.
The essay will begin by providing a brief introduction into the two perspectives of Functionalism and Marxism, focusing on the theories of the French Sociologist Emile Durkheim and the German philosopher Karl Marx. Then it will give a brief discussion showing the transformation that took place from feudalism to capitalism, providing the reader with an insight into the dramatic change that took place during a time of revolution and revolt. Finally the essay will compare and contrast Marx’s idea of class and class conflict with Durkheim’s theory on the Division of labour.
Durkheim was one of the most influential sociologists in relation to the functionalist theories which stated society consisted of a structural consensus with a collective conscience of shared norms and values. He argued in order to establish the meaning of society one must understand the structures and social facts. He highlights changes in society from traditional societies which were linked with mechanical solidarity consisting of small scale ties with little division of labour. This in turn created a strong collective conscience of unity in comparison to modern society where differences amongst groups are promoted in turn weakening social solidarity. This is due to rapid changes within society in which Durkheim emphasises is due to a complex division of labour. Durkheim then argues that due to the combination of enlightenment notions and a capitalist society a collective conscience of individualism and greed is created. (Jones, Bradbury and Boutillier, 2011, pp.62-64)
People in present society are divided up into different positions in the work force. Durkheim sees society from a structural functionalist perspective and refers to society as a system of different organs, each with a special role that differentiates parts from one another (pg 122). According to Durkheim, the differences we hold in society create interdependence among one another due
Functionalist theory is one of the major theoretical perspectives in sociology. It can be argued that the functionalist theory has made a significant contribution to the study of society. It originates from the work of Emile Durkheim who suggests that social order is possible and society remains stable due to the functioning of several institutions. Everything has a specific function in society and society will always function in harmony. The main institutions studied by functionalism are the family, the education system, religion and crime and deviance.
As Durkheim said that “My work had its origins in the question of the relations of the individual to social solidarity. Why does the individual, while becoming more autonomous, depend more upon society? How can he [sic] be at one more individual?”(Durkheim 1976: 37-8) Durkheim is basically saying that as we move from a mechanical form of solidarity which has a simple occupational structure as there where fewer occupations compared to organic solidarity where with the development of society brought about more occupation’s to choose from means that there is now a more