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Theory of Functionalism - Essay Example

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The other perspectives consist of the conflict theory and the interactionism approach. This theory of functionalism examines the society based on a functional framework. Functionalism stresses the importance of…
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Theory of Functionalism
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Download file to see previous pages The study will also be based on the major attributes of an ideal societal structure.
According to Robert (2000), the Functionalist perspective came to be as a result of the works of Emile Durkheim. Later on, Talcott Parsons, a Harvard sociologist shaped the theory. Functionalism can be associated with one premise. Andersen & Taylor (2005) assert that this premise purports that the world can be viewed as a system of interrelated parts; each part contributes to success of the entire system. It can, therefore, be argued that this theory concerns itself with describing the world as a whole made up of several parts. The theory of functionalism holds that everything and everyone serves a purpose in society. Therefore, functionalists do not down look the role that each member of the society plays.
Functionalism theorists argue that crime has a role to play in society. For example, they observe that crime brings the need to employ police officers, prosecutors, lawmakers, investigators, and defense attorneys. Functionalists argue that if crime suddenly disappeared, numerous jobs related to crime would be lost (Barlow& Kauzlarich, 2010). Crime also plays the role of bringing families, individuals, and communities together for a purpose. Therefore, functionalism theory supports the argument that crime should be there in society. Those who supported this school of thought made several arguments in favor of crime (Joseph, 2003).
To Durkheim, deviance and crime has three key functions in the society. Deviance reaffirms norms of society, challenges the status quo and promotes social unity in the society. Durkheim argued that deviance can question the status quo, therefore, making society renounce the held norms. For example, deviant and criminal acts became critical in influencing African American rights movement (Tischler, 2010). In addition, deviance has assisted women and homosexuals to demand their rights. Therefore, deviance breaks down the norms of prejudice ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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