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Topic 12. Structural Functionalism

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Rakenel Castro

on 5 November 2015

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Transcript of Topic 12. Structural Functionalism

Topic 12.
Structural Functionalism
Structural Functionalism
- Tries to explains the social reality, by analyzing the society as a whole, what is everybody doing on it and the components that is has.
- They use sociology (cultural), anthropology (social), political, economical, and demography.
- Everything depends on the status and role that people have in society, and how satisfy are their necessities, this will determined the way each person conducts with the others and the system.

It seeks to discover the structure in which society is based, to specify the functions of each group, institution or any other social force that keeps the social balance, and to know the conditions that modify the social activity.
Structural Functionalism
Comparative Method
an structure IS...
1) Distribution of parts of a body.
2) In sociology, a social structure is the population with a particular association, which lives and develops in an environment.
Important Definitions
What is culture?
A pattern, an organized system of symbols that guides individuals, presents embraced aspects of the personality system and establishes institutionalized patterns.
is an organization that administrates and benefits the society.
A group of facts and circumstance that complicate the achievement of an objective.
What's a
Structural Functionalism
- It's based on Comte, Spencer and Durkheim ideas.
- Talcott Parsons developed this theory in USA during the capitalism.
- His main concern was the creation of social order.
- He believed the systems were interdependent, and that they tend towards balance.
Basic Unit
Place occupied
Performance people
have in society
Parsons Theory
became important, because they are groups, rules and values.
- Requirements of the social systems:
a) Compatibility with other systems.
b) Meeting the people's needs.
c) Support of other systems.
d) Participation of the members in the system.
e) Control conflict.
f) Language.
Philosophy Structuralism and functionalism
- He considered the society as a system in which individuals interact according to symbols they have structured and shared.
- The role that norms and values plays in society.
- Culture has the ability to become part of other systems.
- Its main object of study is the
cultural expressions and norms and values of society.
- The structure and the function are together.
- The production, distribution and cultural reproduction is concentrated in
getting higher status.
Talcott Parsons
Robert K. Merton?
- 1910-2003
- He was born in Philadelphia.
- He was a sociologist.
- He focused in the relation between structure and functions.
- He created a system of concepts to deal with the ways in which structures may relate to the whole.
- The balance of a structure it's made of functions and dysfunctions.
- The functionality depends on the perspective.
- Dysfunctional structures could exist within systems, depending on their relationship with other systems.
Structural Functionalism
- It sees the society as a biological system, which means that each element performs a function.
- The status and the role of the individual are basic elements.
- It accepts social stratification according to the wealth or status of the society members.

- A person can have different status, therefore different roles to play.
: the part that each person plays in society and is a consequence of a certain status.
: Is determined by income, education, employment, prestige.
Role & status
- Everyone should be aware of their role and the others, to know what to expected and how to behave.
Structural Functionalism
- It seeks to study the system preservation, operability and functionality.
- How humans relate in terms of culture, environment and cultural area.
- Durkeim Theory:
a) Society is based on social relations.
b) He supports the private ownership.
c) He believes in the class division, owners/workers.
d) There are 2 kinds of
.- what should be
.- What should be, but is not.
- Normal.-
Focuses on social events represented in the norms and values, can be written or unwritten.

- Pathological.-
Have to do with the solidarity respecting the order and stability to avoid social disintegration.
Kinds Problems

a) Mechanical solidarity:
Exist when social beliefs and practices are share among other things. It depends on what others have achieved. Ex. primitives communities.
b) Organic solidarity:
Individuals rely on eh other to achieve an objective, there is a division of labor. In this, societies beliefs are replaced by interest.
Emile durkheim and the Comparative method
- He used the comparative method.
- A comparison is a confrontation of objects in order to highlight the similarities and differences between those objects.
- A comparison is a resource that complements the definition and sometimes replace it.
- Is the analysis of the shared features and differences of the facts and phenomena.
- This theory is about how a society is shaped by understanding what is the role and functions they have.
- Remember that each role has a different status depending on the main features and values that belong to a certain society.
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