Darwinian Theory: Structural Functionalism By Radcliffe-Brown

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This explanation by Radcliffe- Brown is one from the perspective of a structural functionalist. From Browns point of view social phenomena have important functions beyond the obvious or manifest functions. The manifest function is the intended result for a social practice, like a graduation ceremony in a modern high school. For Brown it is more important to look at these social phenomena for there latent or unintended consequences. This perspective differs among strong and weak functionalist as to whether or not all social phenomena are beneficial. Browns explanation is good in terms of fitting his approach and understanding of social actions. It may not be applicable in different approaches like the natural sciences.

The differing perspectives present in Browns approach of social functions are the strong and weak
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Furthermore we get interesting generalizations without having a causal connection between two physical events. The application of Darwinian thought in functionalist perspectives seeks to apply a more evolutionary approach. Darwinian theory is used to explain social phenomena as emerging from random variation and natural selection. This means the social practices that are the strongest and most widely accepted with continue to exist, while recognizing random variation within. As well, the less subscribed social practices will eventually die off. This Darwinian thought creates problems with naturalist in not citing a causal mechanism and creating value judgments. A perspective following Darwinian thought is Holism, which believes a society is more than the individuals who make it up. There is a connection between natural and functional approaches created by Holism. The approach may not work in full capacity however, it attempts to ease the perceived disconnect between each

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