Essay The Functionalist Perspective Of Sociological Theory

2137 Words Nov 30th, 2016 9 Pages
The functionalist perspective is among the first sociological theory posited that has influenced sociologists of every perspective. While many early sociologists felt an overreaching need to shape a hypothesis that largely enveloped and sought to explain most of the social world, Emile Durkheim would pointedly state “it is too much to require that a science bound its subject matter with meticulous precision: for that sector of reality which it aims to study is never set apart from other sectors cleanly and precisely. In reality everything in nature is bound up with everything else in such a way that there can be no break between the different sciences, no terribly precise frontiers” (Durkheim, Emile., and Wilson, Everette, K., 1981) Durkheim continues to state the role of sociological theory as one that “is important to develop as clear a notion as possible of the domain of sociology, to determine where it stands and to establish the dimensions or characteristics by which we recognize the complex of phenomena with which we are concerned, while at the same time not freezing frontiers which must remain indeterminate” (Durkheim and Wilson, 1981). Thus, he focuses on the greater social structures of society as being sui generis, or above all, whereby functionalists view the various social institutions both as serving a specific function in society and acting independently of those in that society. They also view social institutions as providing stability and integration in…

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