In the early twentieth century, Emile Durkheim along with the help of Talcott Parsons established the basis of the functionalist theory; known as the oldest yet still prominent theoretical perspective in sociology. “Functionalism can be summed up with one simple premise "the world is a system of interrelated parts, and each part makes a necessary contribution to the vitality of the system”(Functionalist Perspective of Sociology). Functionalists strive to explain the various parts of a society and their relationship through the organic analogy. The organic analogy refers to society as the organs of a living organism. These organs must be able to survive and function through a certain system much like that of a society. The functionalist view looks at society altogether as well as its interrelated parts and how they maintain the whole (Anthropological Theories).
Criticism of functionalism began in the ‘1970s’. “Functional theory also has been criticized for its disregard of the historical process and for its presupposition that societies are in a state of equilibrium” (qtd. in...
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Wade, Mike, and Scott Schneberger. "Punctuated Equilibrium Theory." Theories Used in IS Research. 13 Apr. 2006. Web. 24 Apr. 2012.
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