Functionalist theory

Functionalist theory - Functionalisttheory...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Functionalist theory Functionalist sociologists emphasize what maintains society, not what changes it. Although  functionalists may at first appear to have little to say about social change, sociologist Talcott Parsons  holds otherwise. Parsons (1902–1979), a leading functionalist, saw society in its natural state as  being stable and balanced. That is, society naturally moves toward a state of  homeostasis . To  Parsons, significant social problems, such as union strikes, represent nothing but temporary rifts in  the social order. According to his  equilibrium theory , changes in one aspect of society require  adjustments in other aspects. When these adjustments do not occur, equilibrium disappears,  threatening social order. Parsons' equilibrium theory incorporates the evolutionary concept of  continuing progress, but the predominant theme is stability and balance. 
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 11/21/2011 for the course SOCI 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online