Functionalism And Environmental Pollution

1480 Words 6 Pages
Environmental pollution without a doubt is a problem we face in the 21st century. We have come up with treaties and pacts with other nations to combat the problems environmental pollution lays upon us as well as devoted substantial resources to lessen and reverse damage caused by pollution. Logically speaking it would seem as environmental pollution would cause a problem within the outlook of the functionalist perspective that Durkheim stood behind, but would it really? The thing about the functionalist perspective is that negative things are sometimes necessary to preserve a functional society. War for example though devastating, serves a function; to unite a nation, to lower the population, etc.… So, would environmental pollution strictly …show more content…
In a society that relies on industry, factories are crucial. Low and behold factories are a major source of pollution. This becomes a much bigger issue when asking if pollution is functional or not. On the one hand, obviously, pollution is a detriment to societies natural environment and the health of the people. Yet at the same time the factories that cause this pollution are seemingly a crucial part of the industrial society and the pollution it causes. This brings up the question; is environmental pollution too great a cost in exchange for industrial complex, or is the industrial machine of too much importance that it deems environmental pollution as unavoidable for the good of society. If it is the latter, then it can be determined that environmental pollution per Durkheim would be functional. In modern times, we are even more informed of the dangers that environmental pollution pose upon the world so the question becomes of even greater …show more content…
It is true that during Durkheim the effects of pollution were not yet completely understood and that ignorance might have made it easy to view environmental pollution as functional. Today however not only are we aware of the harm our pollution makes we are doing it more than ever before in various forms. Even going back to the days of the industrial revolution there was obvious signs that pollution was creating a problem for people. Air pollution from the smoke and soot created from factories would cause the air to be dirty and full of smog. Illnesses to factory workers because of breathing in fumes and being near the source of pollution were common place (Lessard). In the modern world, we see countries like China who face serious problems to their citizen’s health and their country 's infrastructure due to unchallenged pollution (Lessard). In our home state of California pollution is such a problem that we had to have government mandates that call for smog testing on vehicles to combat the issue (Barron). Environmental pollution affects us in so many ways that it is possible we don’t know all of them. All these things in mind, one can begin to see that even though back in Durkheim’s time environmental pollution may have been viewed as functional due to the amazing benefits industry was bringing to the western world, today we have reached a point where we are beginning to reap what we sow and the true magnitude of

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