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Functionalist theory of sociology - Essay Example

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Functionalist theory of sociology posits that society is made of functional parts which depend on each other. Functionalist theory argues that the society acts as one big organism which act collectively to achieve the common goal …
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Functionalist theory of sociology
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Question Functionalist theory of sociology posits that society is made of functional parts which depend on each other. Functionalist theory argues that the society acts as one big organism which has so many parts which act collectively to achieve the common goal of keeping the organism alive. In accordance to this theory, every individual in the society, regardless of their social station in life, have a positive contribution to life and also depends on all the other people to survive. This theory can be seen at work with most of the technologies advertised by AT&T in the video clip. One such technology is the smartcard technology which allows people to access their money anywhere in the world. In the advertisement (AT&T 0 min 37 sec), it says “have you ever paid a toll without having to slow down and then shows an individual swipe a Smartcard?” This technology is a network of money transfer services and the only way it can work is when used by many people of all works. Based on the fact that smartcard technology depends on as many people as possible using it to be effective, a sociologists who subscribes to the functionalist theory would argue that the technology explains functionalist theory. It is also good to note that apart from the smartcard depending on the many people of all walks of life using it, it also depends on so many technologies which are not directly related to banking. These many technologies such as internet, satellite and computers, work together to enable the smartcard technology and therefore this is also supportive of the functionalist theory. All these technologies are also developed by different people most of whom don’t even know each other. Question 2 In sociology, there is material and non-material culture which determine how a society develops and how they will respond to various issues in the society and the environment. Material culture refers to the various physical things which people use to define their culture. These include things such as schools, factories, cars, homes and many materials things. These physical materials also define the way in which the society will regard the non-material culture. For instance, a person in the western developed world has to learn things such as driving, using a computer etc, in order for them to be able to survive in their respective societies. On the other hand, a person who lives in an underdeveloped part of Africa where technologies such as cars and computers are not important may have to learn how to use traditional tools to life. Non material culture on the other had is a set of beliefs and understandings which define the way a certain society looks at life. This includes religious beliefs, education, etc. Looking at the technologies which have been discussed in the video clip, online learning is one such technology which has redefined the non material culture. In the advertisemnt clip (AT&T 2min, 35 Sec), it says “have you ever had a classmate who is thousands of miles away?” this is a reference to the modern online schooling. Traditionally, schools (material culture), have been used to help implement the non-material culture of education (formal education) in the developed world. In a modern world, many people especially at the tertiary level of education no longer need to go to a physical school because they can get tuition online and never have to attend a single physical class. Question 3 Socialization is the process by which new culture in integrated into society. Socialisation is therefore the process which allows continuity of culture, by teaching both new and old members of the society how to interact with new norms and new material culture. This is especially with regard to material culture where individuals need to be trained on how to use new materials such as cars, computers when they are new. The socialization process therefore is a process which makes sure of the continuity of the culture especially when new material cultures are introduced. Many material cultures such as computers are socialised through integrating them into the already existing material culture so that there is an almost seamless connection of the two. For example, in the AT&T (0 mins, 10 sec) advertisement clip, it asks “have you ever crossed the country without stopping for direction?” This is in reference to today’s Google maps which help people to get direction from GPS. When new technologies are integrated into the already existing ones, it becomes easier for people to adapt to them easily. A good example is the introduction of computers where they have been integrated in common things such as refrigerators, cars, and banking systems. Because computers are everywhere, it becomes natural to use them and they therefore make up part of the culture in today’s developed world. integrating new material culture with already existing ones makes it easier for the new culture to be adopted by people because the people will have no choice but to use them and also because it makes their lives much easier. Work Cited AT&T 1993-1994 'You Will' Ad Campaign Compilation - All 7 Ads . Dir. AT& T. AT& T. 1994. Read More
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