Strengths and Weaknesses of the Functionalist View on Society
Functionalism is a consensus perspective, whereby society is based on shared values and norms into which members are socialised. For functionalists, society is seen as a system of social institutions such as the economy, religion and the family all of which perform socialisation functions.
A strength of the functionalist theory is that it a macro level structural theory which uses an organic analogy- using the body as a way to describe the different parts within society. Parsons identifies three similarities; System, System Needs and Functions. The System being organisms such as the human body, and society which fit together in fixed ways. For example in the …show more content…
The functionalist theory identifies two types of society- traditional and modern. Parsons says each type has its own typical pattern of norms (called pattern variables A and B) Within each type, there are variables which fit together. Within traditional society, an individual’s status is ascribed at birth, and they are expected to put the kinships group before their own. Opposite to this, in modern society,