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Identify and discuss the key features of both Functionalist and Marxist theories. [25 Marks]

Functionalist and Marxist are macro sociological theories that give a better understanding of the society. Functionalist theory is referred to as the consensus whilst the Marxist theory is known as the conflict theory. Key features of both theories are going to be identified and discussed.

According to Haralambos and Holborn (2008), a theory is a set of ideas which attempts to explain how something works.

Functionalism is one of the major theoretical perspectives in sociology which explains how social order is possible or how society remains relatively stable.

Marxism is a theoretical perspective that emphasizes the role of coercion and
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The society also needs food, shelter, water for it to survive. Therefore the economy must find means of producing those basic needs. Moreover, the society should set goals, so in order to attain them the society should set rules that need to be followed. Also the society must adjust and follow the rules, thus being integrated into the system and besides this, the society should maintain basic pattern and values. Having assumed a number of basic requirements for the survival of the society, the next step is to look at the parts of the social structure to see how they meet such functional pre requisites. (Fulcher and Scott, 2007)

Another key feature of the functionalist theory is that conflict is temporary. It is caused by scarcity of resources. When there is conflict within the society, it needs an urgent solution.

Lastly social order is one of the key features of the functionalist theory. One of the main concern of functionalist theory is to explain how social life is possible. The theory assumes that for any society to remain intact there must be a certain degree of order and stability. Functionalism is therefore concerned with explaining the origin and maintenance of order and stability in society. Many functionalists see shared values as the key to this explanation. Value consensus integrates the various parts of society. It forms the basis of social unity or social solidarity, since individuals will tend to

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