Session%202%20-%20Functionalism

Session%202%20-%20Functionalism - Robert Merton An...

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The Functionalist Perspective Functionalist Perspective Conflict Perspective Interactionist Perspective Society ± Views society as a stable, orderly system ± Functionalists ask what purpose particular behaviors, policies or attitudes serve in society ± For example, poverty Functionalism
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± Particularly interested in how social systems are related to one another. For example, the relationship between politics and the economy or between schools and the family. ± For Parsons, the “function” or “purpose” of any given social institution or pattern of behavior is intricately bound up with other social institutions or patterns of behavior. Talcott Parsons ± Introduces the concepts of: ± manifest and latent functions ± Manifest Function : the stated, obvious, or intended purpose ± Latent Function : the less obvious and/or unintended purpose ± An example discussed in detail later in the semester is the “hidden curriculum” in public schools
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Unformatted text preview: Robert Merton An Application of Functionalism: Positive Functions of the Undeserving Poor I. Micro-Social Functions 1) Risk Reduction 2) Scapegoating - Displacement II. Economic Functions 3) Reserve Army of Labor 4) Supply Illegal Goods 5) Job Creation I should have stayed in high school. III. Normative Functions 6) Moral Legitimation 7) Norm Reinforcement 8) Supply Popular Culture Villains IV. Political Functions 9) Institutional Scapegoating 10) Conservative Power Shifting 11) Spatial Purification V. Macro-Social Functions 12) Reproduction of Stigma & the Stigmatized 13) Extermination of Surplus Threaded Discussion Questions ± How is poverty intertwined with other social institutions and behaviors? ± Which of the above functions are manifest? Which are latent? ± Which functions would be most difficult to replace if poverty were eliminated? Explain....
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Session%202%20-%20Functionalism - Robert Merton An...

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