Structural Functionalism Analysis

773 Words4 Pages
Structural Functionalist Paradigm There are three main theoretical theories that are used in sociology to study the aspects of societies. Functionalism is one of these major theories. This specific theory focuses on all the parts of a society on a macro level and how they work together to form a unified unit. This theory can be used to break down and study how functionalists might think the causes of a social problem are. Auguste Comte and Hebert Spencer compared society to a living organism or a human body. If a society wants to function without conflict then all of its parts must work together, like organs working together to help a body function. If one organ fails the body will have to make up and fill in to keep functioning, but one organ…show more content…
On the opposing side, when the pieces of society are not functioning how they should, the society is in an “abnormal” state. There are some core institutions that are used to help understand this theory such as family, government, education, and religion. According to the theory these institutions only exist because they play a vital role in the functioning of a society. They all work together to achieve success within that society. This theory focuses on all the parts working in harmony, so when crime or deviant behavior comes about it leads to changes in the society. Using functionalism to break down a social problem can be useful in trying to see the perspective functionalists use when they are finding the causes of that specific problem. One specific social problem, such as crime in America, can be broken down to see what the causes of this specific problem would be. There is one theoretical perspective that can be helpful in explaining deviance within a society. One of these theoretical ideas is Merton’s strain theory. This theory says that deviance is caused by a discrepancy in cultural goals and the tools that people have to help achieve these goals. Cultural structure is where certain goals are created that people want to meet, and social structure…show more content…
Within this main theory, Merton’s strain theory, is very helpful in breaking down the cause of a social problem from a functionalist perspective, and shows how deviance might come about in a society. Functionalism is just one of the three major theoretical theories within
Open Document