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Latent Functions - organisms do not perform very well when...

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Latent Functions Latent functions are functions that are unrecognized. They may even be important functions, but their consequence is not obvious. Example: College students, in the course of pursuing their education, may make good friends. Merton described college as a "mate selection market" where students meet prospective marriage partners. Dysfunctions A perspective that is highly concerned about order is by definition concerned about what happens when social order breaks down. Merton uses the term dysfunction, which refers to a negative consequence that may disrupt the system. Dysfunction also conjures up the notion that a social phenomenon can be functional in one setting and dysfunctional in another. Examples: Over Population Pollution Critique of Functionalism Functionalism Resists Change Invoking a biological model has certain built-in assumptions connected to it. Biological
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Unformatted text preview: organisms do not perform very well when they encounter great change in their environment. Society, however, is not biological. It is social. Social systems can tolerate much greater change than can biological systems. Functionalism is Inherently Conservative Change tends to be viewed as a negative consequence. All the parts of society act as a part of a unified system. Altering one part of the system has impact on all the other parts. There fore, there is a tendency is to protect existing institutions out of a fear that change in one area of society will adversely influence other parts of society. Fear of creating disorder in society is often used as a justification for avoiding change....
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