Functionalism And Functionalism

Functionalism for a number of years was the prevailing sociological theory, particularly in the work of Robert Merton, Talcott Parsons and their followers and students. The 1940’s and 1950’s were the years of dominance of functionalism and somewhat paradoxically the beginning of a great decline in its importance too. During these years Parsons produced his major statements which confirmed his shift from action theory to functionalism (Wearne, 2013). Students of Parsons began to emerge and were dispersed globally, with many occupying important positions in major sociology departments and his students began producing their own work and making their own contributions towards functionalism (Rtizer, 1996). For example, Kingsley Davis and Wilbert …show more content…
In the majority of cases this means adopting western culture, it is in this way that functionalism is culturally imperialistic. Functionalism believes that ethnic inequalities must serve an important function in order to exist as long as they have, however discrimination and racism are only beneficial to the dominant group. Historically it has benefitted the dominate groups to discriminate against subordinate groups. Having discriminatory views can benefit those who wish to deny rights and privileges to people they view as inferior to them, however over time this discrimination in fact harms society (Horowitz, 1985). Ethnic stratification serves the interests of the dominant elite and it occurs due to the exploitative nature of the majority group as a whole or because of the exploitative nature of the wealthy elite within the majority group. It is clear that during the time in which functionalism was the prevailing sociological theory, it worked in the interest of the dominant white elites in the western world but it was hardly functional for ethnic

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