*Evaluation of the Functionalist T*heory
Functionalism, or Consensus Theory is the belief in which we all share the same norms, values and social cohesion and the term ‘Value Consensus’ is a way for all members of society agree to the norms and values.
It states that we adapt to our own society and rather than learn the norms and values, we grow up and adapt to them and learn what is right and what is wrong in order to avoid_ Deviance_.
A few basic Key Terms of Functionalism include:
Structural Theory – Social Institutions shape and influence the lives of the individual.
The fact that we are influenced by Social Forces beyond our control.
Consensus Theory – Share norms, values and social cohesion.
The fact that if something exists, it must have a purpose/function to society.
Functionalists believe that society is the most important thing and that each individual within our society plays a role (such as a mother or police officer), or performs a function and becomes a product of all the social influences around them. The whole idea in society, according to Functionalists is that we are born within the society, play our role and die and continues.
According to Functionalists, society can be compared with a human body, a car, a tree or anything similar to that effect in the sense that society is a complex system made up of parts that all work together and that each part is dependant on the other.
*Talcott Parsons* (1959)
They Socialize Individuals from an early age to adopt the key values of society = value consensus
Provide us with formal moral codes that become sacred that define what is right and what is wrong.
They encourage Social Solidarity & Integration – help us feel like we belong in our society and can be proud of it.
As a result of all of this, which Parsons has discovered, we don’t have to be told what is right and what is wrong. We are grown into society, so effectively and adapted so well that we know not to...