What - 2 Latent Functions Latent functions are functions...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
What is a Theoretical Perspective? What's the Purpose? Functionalists, like Emile Durkheim, Vilfredo Pareto, Talcott Parsons, and Robert Merton, are interested in how the parts of the social system contribute to the continuation of the social system. When functionalists encounter the various aspects of society, they may ask "What is its purpose?" A primary purpose of all parts (institutions like police, newspapers, religion) is to encourage consensus. Merton (see Robertson, 1989:12) distinguishes between manifest functions, latent functions, and dysfunctions. 1. Manifest Functions Manifest functions refer to functions that are obvious. Examples: The manifest function of schools is to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. The manifest function of the military is to defend the nation. The manifest function of criminal justice is to keep the streets safe for a society's citizens.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: 2. 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. 3. 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 What is a Theoretical Perspective? functional in one setting and dysfunctional in another. Examples: Over Population Pollution...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 01/29/2012 for the course SCIE SYG2000 taught by Professor Bernhardt during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

Page1 / 2

What - 2 Latent Functions Latent functions are functions...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online