The movie “A Bug’s Life” shares the story of a colony of ants that are trapped in a vicious cycle of gathering food for the powerful grasshoppers year after year. The ants become wary of collecting food and soon realize a revolution is needed to free themselves from the grip of the grasshoppers. Throughout “A Bug’s Life”, a critical analysis of character interaction contributes to a greater understanding of the functionalist theory, conflict theory, and Marxism and how these sociological principles create a competitive society and inevitably lead to societal change.
In order to understand the entirety of a society, we must first understand each part and how it contributes to the stability of the society. According to the functionalist …show more content…
“As one part of a system changes, other parts have to readjust to accommodate the change that has taken place elsewhere” (Stolley). This aspect of functionalism explains why the grasshoppers are so adamant in preventing an uprising from the ants. The ants begin to realize after years and years of gathering food for the grasshoppers, that this system is not necessarily ideal for their colony. The grasshoppers sense this hesitation from the ants and quickly assert themselves to make sure the ants do not rebel. The head grasshopper makes it clear to his pack, “if we let one ant stand up to us then they all might stand up. Those puny little ants outnumber us 100-1 and if they ever figure that out, there goes our way of life. Its not about food, it’s about keeping those ants in line”(A Bug’s Life). Similarly, a functionalist society is inordinately dependent on maintaining the status quo to ensure the stability of the broader society. In addition to stability, a society also depends on social order, according to the conflict theory. This theory emphasizes, “a society is fragmented into groups that compete for social and economic resources” (Crossman). This is especially exhibited in “A Bug’s Life” due to the scarcity of the food each year that creates conflict between the ants and grasshoppers. At one point in the movie, an ant expresses his concern by saying “if we collect more food for [the grasshoppers], there will be no food left to feed us!” (A
Functionalism views society as the stability and assimilation of a range of forces that function within it. While society is a separate entity with a life of its own, there are individual elements contributing to that stability. Functionalism as a sociological theory emphasizes assimilation rather than the dissociation of society. Therefore, the society is seen as a whole that is compromised of parts which give one another their identity and their function. The part, whether that is education, such as a school, or sports, such as a football team, operates in relation to the other parts, and cannot be entirely understood in isolation from the other parts. All the parts are interrelated, and when there is a disturbance in any one of the
Structural Functionalism aims to understand society in an objective way. It views society as an entity that is “objectively real”. It emphasizes the unity of society, and how individuals perform roles and how these roles are vital in meeting the needs of the collective whole. For instance, because every society has stratification, stratification must have certain functions and these functions can contribute to the survival of the social system as a whole. Furthermore, structural
The functionalist perspective would emphasize the way in which the parts of a society are structured to maintain its stability. (Schaefer, 2011) A functionalist may point out the manifest functions of video games as a
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)
Critics of this theory state that it focuses too much on order and stability and presents somewhat of a conservative and idealistic view of society. It does not encourage individuals to take an active role in changing their social environment even when such a change might be beneficial to them. "Instead, functionalism sees active social change as undesirable because the various parts of society will compensate naturally for any problems that may arise." (Zgourides 12). It also fails to take into consideration differences in power among and between groups.
Functionalism looks at society in aspects of how it contributes to the steadiness/cohesion of the whole society (Anderson, Taylor, & Logio, P. 18). There are many institutions that are looked at that include the economic system, government, education, religion, health care, and family. All of which have different roles and perform different functions to ensure that society operates in a well-ordered manner. An example of this would be how family reproduces, takes care of children, exposes children to culture and heritage, supports other family members, and shares life experiences. Shared values and social stability are keys to this perspective. When this system breaks down it is because people’s needs are not being covered and shared values are deteriorating. When this occurs, it affects all parts of functionalism and the society must achieve
Structural Functionalism, also known as functionalism, sees society as a structure with interrelated parts designed to meet the biological and social needs of the individuals in that society. The way that applies to the ant colony society in the film is through biological needs of survival through offerings, and social needs if contribution to the colony as a whole. The power hierarchy starts with Hopper, and his grasshoppers, down to the Queen ant with other speciality ants, with the lowest being worker ants, which includes the protagonist Flik. The grasshoppers advertise that they protect the ants and allow them to live in peace only if they are given a sacrifice annually which the ants fulfill. This allows the agreement and structure of the contract to be stable. The system is so ingrained into the ants that when a leaf blocks the way to the offering stone, the worker ants immediately panic until someone higher up in the social order is able to redirect them. Another example of this collective conscience is when the ants panic when the alarms for the grasshoppers sound off. Unable to to make an individual decision it is up to the Queen to step in and restore order. The stability is dependent on the relationship of the ants, the Queen, and the Grasshoppers.
Functionalism is a theory by Durkheim that conveys that all aspects of a society serve a function and are necessary for the survival of that society. In this way, society is like an organism. If all institutions work properly it contributes to the
"Functionalist Perspectives” also known as "Structural-Functional Paradigm”- “The sociological approach that views society as a stable, orderly system. According to this perspective, a society is composed of interrelated parts, each of which serves a function and (ideally) contributes to the overall stability of the society. Societies develop social structures, or institutions that persist because they play a part in helping society survive. These institutions include the family, education, government, religion, and the economy. If anything adverse happens to one of these institutions or parts, all
Everyone is familiar with the state of armed conflict that is war, and for as long as there has been civilization there has been war. Upon first glance, Henry David Thoreau’s “The Battle of the Ants” seems like a simple descriptive story of a battle between two different species of ants, one red and one black, but if one were to further inspect the text, they could see that Thoreau uses the ants and their battle as a satirical allegory for human conflict. Thoreau chooses to use ants as a metaphor to make it clear to the reader that war is futile, pointless, and a waste of life.
Functionalism developed out of the positivist observation that 'all positive speculations owe their first origin to the occupations of practical life' (Comte, 1865, pg 11) and the boundaries of scientific knowledge can not go further than empirically observable truths and views societies as holistic systems where 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts' (Taylor et el, 1997, pg 662). Functionalist analysis draws on three assumptions essentially seeking to transform society into a theoretical system of reality. The first assumption is that there are zero independent parts operating within
Functionalists argue that societies consist of inter-related social institutions such as schools, mass media, political systems, the Church and the family each of which contribute positively to the maintenance of stability of society as a whole. Broadly speaking it is assumed by functionalists that societies operate in the interests of all of their members so that there is no reason for fundamental conflict in society. Instead there is a high degree of consensus that societies are organised efficiently and relatively fairly.
Structural Functionalism is “A major sociological perspective that views society as an interdependent system of parts (structures) and purposes (functions) that work together to make a society operate (Larkin, 2015)”. In order for a society to work all parts of the same society must work together. In structural functionalism society nearly depends on one another to stay afloat. If Something changes it can causes a disruption in society and begins to make things become unbalanced. Functionalism focuses on many groups that make up society, for example Government, Judiciary, and religion are some of the key groups that benefits in society strengthening their social relationships and the very world humans live in.
Apart from the demand for food and protection for the ants, Hopper avoided being dominated and at the same time, used coercion to keep in power over the ants, including the queen, while the team enjoyed their gaming, luxury, and gang life. Because of this grave deviance against the freedom (although, it is not absolutely possible) of the ants, the colony made a wake-up call that their forces combined can abolish the slavery system posed by the grasshoppers. In addition, these forces from the grasshoppers are important towards the stability in the society in the way that they measure how strong the civilization of the ants were, in terms of governance, manpower, and firepower. After all, the society, at large, is open that the civilization of ants drastically moved from slaves to free people (in terms of the capitalist pyramid with the grasshoppers in power).