Functionalist view of society essay

Prostitution is another never ending war like abortion, which society feels is immoral. This immorality leads functionalists, who apply functionalism to this social problem, on a chase to figure out why prostitution is what it is today. Functionalism is the best theory for looking at prostitution. It allows us to see how prostitution changes along with other aspects of society.

Functionalist view of society essay

Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues. Get Access Strengths and Weaknesses of the Functionalist View on Society Essay Sample 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 Functionalist view of society essay the economy, religion and the family all of which perform socialisation functions. A strength of the functionalist theory is that it a macro level structural theory which uses an organic analogy- using the body as a way to describe the different parts within society.

Parsons identifies three similarities; System, System Needs and Functions.


The System being organisms such as the human body, and society which fit together in fixed ways. For example in the body, organ cells, in society the parts are institutions and individual roles.

The system needs meaning just as organisms have needs such as nutrition; society has needs which need to be met in order to survive, and lastly, functions. Functions involve the contribution something makes to meet the systems needs; so as the circulatory system of the body carries nutrients and oxygen to the tissues, the economy helps maintain the social system by meeting the needs for food and shelter.

An example using this analogy would be the brain would be the politics and the family the heart. This analysis clearly looks at the whole of society; all while making it easier to understand sociologically and visually shows how all the different functions of society link and work together.

However, the fact that it is a macro level theory can also be interpreted as a disadvantage. It does not look at individuals or small groups within society and therefore may miss differing factors which contribute to the workings of society.

Marxists will also criticize the functionalist approach by saying rather than society being a harmonious whole, it is infect based on exploitation and divided into classes with unequal power. Being a consensus theory, functionalism sees society as based on a basic consensus among its members about values, goals and rules; in other words a shared culture.

What is the functionalist perspective in sociology?

This shared culture provides a framework allowing individuals to co operate by doing things such as defining their goals they should pursue and laying down rules about how they should behave.

One functionalist, Parsons, calls this agreement value consensus- the glue that holds society together.


Value consensus makes social order possible, with Parsons indentifying that the system has two mechanisms for ensuring individuals conform to the shared norms, thus meeting the systems needs; Socialisation and Social control. The system can assure its needs are met by teaching individuals to want to do what is required of them, with positive sanctions rewarding conformity and negative ones punishing defiance.

As individuals are integrated, the behaviour of each person will be quite predictable and stable, allowing cooperation. From an action perspective, Wrong criticizes the idea of a value consensus as he criticizes the functionalists over socialized, deterministic view of the individual.

Wrong says that individuals have no free will or choice; they are mere puppets whose string are pulled by society. Due to this, the functionalists approach somewhat contradicts itself as functionalism sees humans as being shaped by society, but their approach actually takes the opposite view.

Parsons model of the social system is like that of a building block.

Functionalist view of society essay

For example the family is an institution made up of mother, father and child. Within society, Parsons identifies four basic needs which are met by a separate sub system. It is sometimes referred to as the AGIL scheme. These four needs are: Different parts of the system need to be integrated together in order to pursue shared goals and the latency refers to processes that maintain society over time.In being a male or female, society determines his future roles, position in soc It looks like you've lost connection to our server.

Please check your internet connection or reload this page. A Functionalist View of Gender Roles in Society 1, View Full Essay.

More essays like this: Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo.

Navigate Guide

Marxists believe that the ruling class dominates society, they also believe that society is based on conflict between classes (the working class and the ruling class) they believe that the ruling class (the bourgeoisie) exploit the working class (the proletariat) unlike the consensus view who believe in .

Using item A, assess the functionalist theory of culture (25 marks) Item A According to functionalist sociologists, everything in society performs a function This is also the case for culture.

The functionalist perpesective is defined as the viewpoint that society is a system of interconnected parts that work together in harmony to maintain a state of balance and social equilibrium for the whole.

The functionalist theory is the best way to view prostitution through a sociological perspective. Functionalists see prostitution as a means of controlling or channeling sexual behaviors (Henslin 53).

Nov 18,  · Functionalist view on religion essay. Self introduction in english essays essay about the society today four pillars of nhs essays write a essay on generation gap zeitgeist moving forward intro speech essay your attitude determines your altitude essay about myself.

Functionalist Essays: Examples, Topics, Titles, & Outlines