Structural Functionalism
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Posted 9/22/08 , edited 9/22/08
Structural Functionalism is a social model that says a social entity, such as an organization or a whole society, can be viewed like a machine. like machines, a social system is made up of parts, each of which contributes to an equilibrium of sorts. the positve and negative functioning aspects generally balance themselves out to a neutrality.

the view of society as a social system, then, looks for the "functions" served by its various components. social scientists using the functional paradigm note that the function of the police, for example, is to excercise social control, encourageing people to abide by the norms of society and bringing justice to those who do not. we could just as reasonably ask what functions criminals serve in society. within the this paradigm, we'd see that criminals serve as job security for thousands of people, in the forms of police, lawyers, judges, prison guards and other law enforcement careers. this functioning relationship becomes a balance of bad and good, forming a state of equality.

but by applying the functionalist view to everyday life, people often make the mistake of thinking that funcionality, stability, and integration are necassarily good, or that the functionalist paradigm makes that assumption. however when researchers look for the "function" served by poverty, discrimination, or oppression, they are not justifying such things, only seeking to understand the roles that such things play in the larger society and how they could be eliminated

so the question i'm posing is: how do social problems "fucntion" in our society? i have already used crime as a model, but what about other issues such as war, prejudice, or poverty? how do they function in our world? what circumstances makes people turn to these clearly negative things, what kind of people rely on these things (like police to criminals), and how do they serve our society?


*note: this is not justifying why these things exist, it is only understanding why they exist, and how it contributes to the functioning of society as a whole.

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Posted 9/23/08
Mostly, I like to blame the media. There is an untold amount of things that people see on TV that seems to back up the theory of 'Modern Life'. One would think that influences such as this would make people believe in all the social aspects of negativity, leading to a break in conformity. However.


At the same time, I blame people themselves, as the majority in this world are actually believing everything they read of watch, taking it in as if it were real-life. Sure, there are similarities, but media is there for a specific reason: To Entertain. And to do that, it has to be different from the stuff we come to realize in RL. Why? Because if life was just like TV, what WOULD we watch on TV?

If there truly is an equilibrium in this world, then it would be the dormant stigma in human nature that controls our perception of indifference. At some point in their life, people condemn what is different and reject it as if it were a mistake to reality.


So the point of this? I say that these particular views are the things that make us able to function as a society, with both the aspects of Positive and Negative. It makes us.... human? ¦o
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Posted 9/25/08
I have a thing in mind and that is evolution. There is a natural way by which everything would seem to have a symbiotic relationship else it is a matter of survival. That explains why intelligence make the lives miserable. Say we put all the minds of the people to a level that it will grow only up like an average four years old kid. What will happen? = A survival of the fittest. A structural functionalism level? yeah i think so.
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Posted 9/13/09

MEMPHADON wrote:

Structural Functionalism is a social model that says a social entity, such as an organization or a whole society, can be viewed like a machine. like machines, a social system is made up of parts, each of which contributes to an equilibrium of sorts. the positve and negative functioning aspects generally balance themselves out to a neutrality.

the view of society as a social system, then, looks for the "functions" served by its various components. social scientists using the functional paradigm note that the function of the police, for example, is to excercise social control, encourageing people to abide by the norms of society and bringing justice to those who do not. we could just as reasonably ask what functions criminals serve in society. within the this paradigm, we'd see that criminals serve as job security for thousands of people, in the forms of police, lawyers, judges, prison guards and other law enforcement careers. this functioning relationship becomes a balance of bad and good, forming a state of equality.

but by applying the functionalist view to everyday life, people often make the mistake of thinking that funcionality, stability, and integration are necassarily good, or that the functionalist paradigm makes that assumption. however when researchers look for the "function" served by poverty, discrimination, or oppression, they are not justifying such things, only seeking to understand the roles that such things play in the larger society and how they could be eliminated

so the question i'm posing is: how do social problems "fucntion" in our society? i have already used crime as a model, but what about other issues such as war, prejudice, or poverty? how do they function in our world? what circumstances makes people turn to these clearly negative things, what kind of people rely on these things (like police to criminals), and how do they serve our society?


*note: this is not justifying why these things exist, it is only understanding why they exist, and how it contributes to the functioning of society as a whole.



honestly speaking, the answer is simple. Balance. Where there is light there must be darkness. Good must be blanced by evil. You cant eliminate none of these issues, a utopian society is a naive child's dreams. it cant exists. the best we can do is to control the issues so they dont get out of hand.

wait a sec, you have already stated this...peace over war
Posted 9/15/09

MEMPHADON wrote:

Structural Functionalism is a social model that says a social entity, such as an organization or a whole society, can be viewed like a machine. like machines, a social system is made up of parts, each of which contributes to an equilibrium of sorts. the positve and negative functioning aspects generally balance themselves out to a neutrality.

the view of society as a social system, then, looks for the "functions" served by its various components. social scientists using the functional paradigm note that the function of the police, for example, is to excercise social control, encourageing people to abide by the norms of society and bringing justice to those who do not. we could just as reasonably ask what functions criminals serve in society. within the this paradigm, we'd see that criminals serve as job security for thousands of people, in the forms of police, lawyers, judges, prison guards and other law enforcement careers. this functioning relationship becomes a balance of bad and good, forming a state of equality.

but by applying the functionalist view to everyday life, people often make the mistake of thinking that funcionality, stability, and integration are necassarily good, or that the functionalist paradigm makes that assumption. however when researchers look for the "function" served by poverty, discrimination, or oppression, they are not justifying such things, only seeking to understand the roles that such things play in the larger society and how they could be eliminated

so the question i'm posing is: how do social problems "fucntion" in our society? i have already used crime as a model, but what about other issues such as war, prejudice, or poverty? how do they function in our world? what circumstances makes people turn to these clearly negative things, what kind of people rely on these things (like police to criminals), and how do they serve our society?


*note: this is not justifying why these things exist, it is only understanding why they exist, and how it contributes to the functioning of society as a whole.

The way I see it, the social problems in our society isn't a function of establishing equilibrium. But rather they are results of our society is functioning in a direction that's forcing us to rebel against our human nature as social animals. When our society functions are but various forms of power struggles, between those who are in the positions of power and those who aren't. By them defusing each others' own bases of power.
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Posted 10/21/09
Ugh. Don't get me started, dude.

First of all, nothing in society is "clearly negative"; it depends on who you ask: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm3LaqO-lAA

Second, you can't draw a straight line from the existence of a norm/more/folkway/institution/whatever to a "function" in society. There are probably still one or two people in North America who claim to belong to the Free Soil party. From any practical point of view (and, imho, from most impractical ones), the Free Soil party does exist, but has no function in society whatsoever. Unisys still exists on paper, but does nothing other than collect dust. The Benevolent order of the Elks may think they serve a purpose; but I assure you... they don't.

Existence != function.

Who cares why there are ills in society? It suffices to say that there *are* ills in society.
Posted 11/17/09
?
Posted 11/17/09
^ you're not allowed to post if you don't contribute to the topic.



Kanone wrote:

Mostly, I like to blame the media. There is an untold amount of things that people see on TV that seems to back up the theory of 'Modern Life'. One would think that influences such as this would make people believe in all the social aspects of negativity, leading to a break in conformity. However.


At the same time, I blame people themselves, as the majority in this world are actually believing everything they read of watch, taking it in as if it were real-life. Sure, there are similarities, but media is there for a specific reason: To Entertain. And to do that, it has to be different from the stuff we come to realize in RL. Why? Because if life was just like TV, what WOULD we watch on TV?

If there truly is an equilibrium in this world, then it would be the dormant stigma in human nature that controls our perception of indifference. At some point in their life, people condemn what is different and reject it as if it were a mistake to reality.


So the point of this? I say that these particular views are the things that make us able to function as a society, with both the aspects of Positive and Negative. It makes us.... human? ¦o


i agree with your comment. mostly with people letting it happened.
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Posted 11/18/09
'I blame people them selves. Lazy, undereducated people who rather go with the flow than think for them selves. Because of the norm as I feel like calling it right now.'

"I explain more clearly once I wake up... I am having trouble even seeing the computer screen right now.. I had a ruff night.. I really hate the cold... I am still having trouble sleeping.. and wen I do get to sleep I can not seem to sleep longer than a hour or so.
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Posted 11/26/09
Aha. The functionalist perspective. Oh, how I love sociology class. Mind, there are three other perspectives to take into consideration, too: Marxist, Social Constructionist, and Feminist.

But, we won't talk about those. Functionalists. Right. Hmm, let me try to remember what we talked about in class Tuesday...

Right. Crime, deviance, and law.

The functionalists see crime and devance as necessary for three reasons:
1. It reminds people of the social rules (because the regulations need to be followed in order for a society to, well, function)
2. Reduces stress (if we know the authorities out there are looking after us, we're less afraid and can therefore work more effectively)
....I can't remember the third one. It's in my notes somewhere. Definitely too lazy to look for it.

In terms of prejudice...I suppose functionalists would see that as necessary because it reminds people that we are, indeed, different. People are discriminated against for having different cultures...but it reminds us that there ARE different cultures and that it's important to understand them.

I dunno. That's all I can come up with off the top of my head.
Posted 11/26/09

Lionna wrote:

Aha. The functionalist perspective. Oh, how I love sociology class. Mind, there are three other perspectives to take into consideration, too: Marxist, Social Constructionist, and Feminist.

But, we won't talk about those. Functionalists. Right. Hmm, let me try to remember what we talked about in class Tuesday...

Right. Crime, deviance, and law.

The functionalists see crime and devance as necessary for three reasons:
1. It reminds people of the social rules (because the regulations need to be followed in order for a society to, well, function)
2. Reduces stress (if we know the authorities out there are looking after us, we're less afraid and can therefore work more effectively)
....I can't remember the third one. It's in my notes somewhere. Definitely too lazy to look for it.

In terms of prejudice...I suppose functionalists would see that as necessary because it reminds people that we are, indeed, different. People are discriminated against for having different cultures...but it reminds us that there ARE different cultures and that it's important to understand them.

I dunno. That's all I can come up with off the top of my head.

Therefore at most, the functionalist explanation for crime and deviance is that they are there as reminders of ourselves. So wouldn't that means that those who think that crime and deviance are necessary to serve us as reminders, are poor learners of our history of crime and deviance?

BTW, I see myself as an amateur social scientist because of my interest in the subject of humanity. I wouldn't mind hearing more from you.
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Posted 11/26/09
I feel that most structures are okay to apply to situations as long as we don't hold them as the "right" way to look at a situation.

Personally, I feel that structural functionalism is laughably naive if you take the belief that everything within the system is "necessary" or serves some purpose. Second, the term "equilibrium" has no standard to justify the assertion. Can a society be unbalanced if there is little crime and lots of police? Where's the line where we determine a society is "level"? Does Nazi Germany count as a stable society, despite its huge problems in organization? If things like crime occur as consequences of something (or a mixture of factors), that's a viewpoint that doesn't run into the same problem.

War wouldn't count unless you were discussing civil war, since war generally occurs between different societies. War could serve a variety of different functions: diverting resources for the goal of acquiring more resources, relieving social tensions within a society, etc.

Also war, poverty, and prejudice are not necessarily negative things. All of them benefit someone.

Poverty is a natural consequence of accumulating wealth into a certain sector of society. It would "serve" the purpose of creating a market for goods, creating a pool of potential soldiers, etc.

Prejudice "serves" the purpose of reinforcing social hierarchies via a latent function instead of clear ones like the creation of laws, etc.

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Posted 11/29/09

DomFortress wrote:


Lionna wrote:

Aha. The functionalist perspective. Oh, how I love sociology class. Mind, there are three other perspectives to take into consideration, too: Marxist, Social Constructionist, and Feminist.

But, we won't talk about those. Functionalists. Right. Hmm, let me try to remember what we talked about in class Tuesday...

Right. Crime, deviance, and law.

The functionalists see crime and devance as necessary for three reasons:
1. It reminds people of the social rules (because the regulations need to be followed in order for a society to, well, function)
2. Reduces stress (if we know the authorities out there are looking after us, we're less afraid and can therefore work more effectively)
....I can't remember the third one. It's in my notes somewhere. Definitely too lazy to look for it.

In terms of prejudice...I suppose functionalists would see that as necessary because it reminds people that we are, indeed, different. People are discriminated against for having different cultures...but it reminds us that there ARE different cultures and that it's important to understand them.

I dunno. That's all I can come up with off the top of my head.

Therefore at most, the functionalist explanation for crime and deviance is that they are there as reminders of ourselves. So wouldn't that means that those who think that crime and deviance are necessary to serve us as reminders, are poor learners of our history of crime and deviance?

BTW, I see myself as an amateur social scientist because of my interest in the subject of humanity. I wouldn't mind hearing more from you.


Sure. Mind, I have no idea how intelligently I can contribute solely based on one intro sociology course. XD Haha.
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