Essay on `` You May Ask Yourself By Dalton Conley

1435 Words May 16th, 2016 6 Pages
Our text, You May Ask Yourself by Dalton Conley, defines functionalism as “the theory that various social institutions and process in society exist to serve some important (or necessary) function to keep society running,” (Conley 29). When applied to the concept of general inequality, this theory suggests that inequality is an unavoidable, necessary facet of human interaction. Functionalism results in a sort of evolution, where society slowly advances the longer each component works properly. In the other corner sits the conflict theory, which states that “conflict between competing interests is the basic, animating force of social change and society in general,” (Conley 30). This Marxist theory directly combats the functionalist theory when applied to inequality, stating that though social change can and does result from conflict between the powerful and less powerful, it is still unnecessary and unfair to those not in power. Under this theory, change is a result of social revolution, since power struggles are a dominating factor in this type of change. This evolution vs. revolution battle is the overarching difference between functionalists and conflict theorists.
On the surface, the education system in our country perfectly fits the functionalist perspective. Students are educated in the disciplines deemed necessary, and become capable citizens that keep society running smoothly. Socialization between students and their peers/teachers also sets them up to be obedient…

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