What Is Functionalism?

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Functionalism is a body of theories in social science. It is dated to the work of August Comte (1798-1857), who coined sociology in 1838; Emile Durkheim (Rules of Sociological methods, 1897); and Herbert Spencer (Principles of Sociology, 1896); and many other scholarly works (Hensiln and Nelson, 1995). The functionalist perspective is a macro analytical perspective that looks at the picture as a whole, focusing on the processes by which health institutions, health care workers carry out their daily work and how people overcome the illness and disease (Little, 2014, Anderson and Taylor, 2001). In this sense, functionalism see society as the body, made up of different integrated social structures which have to work together as the different parts of the body (Rigney, 2001: 17). Functionalists view illness as a "deviance" causes physical and mental dysfunction and view sick-person as a non-productive member of the society and therefore should be examined by medical professions.
Talcott Parsons (1902 – 1979) theory of "Sick role" (1951) emphasizes that good health and effective medical care are essential for society to function. Parsons described illness as a form of deviance that disturbs the social
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People from disadvantaged social backgrounds (ethnic minority, homeless and low-income people) are more likely to become ill and to receive inadequate health care. Conflicts argue that in developed countries where the capitalist system is dominant, the health care is costly; therefore, it is a commodity rather than right (Mooney et al, 2000).
Although the conflict theorists are accurate in certain inequalities in health care system, they do not give enough credit to the major advances in the field of medicine in term of diagnosis and treatment. These developments would not have been made without good economy and research fund.
C: The interactional perspective of
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