Structural Functionalism Sociology Research Assignment

644 words - 3 pages

· What is structural functionalism? In what ways is poverty functional for society? Do you agree?

Structural functionalism is the idea of society being a complex system that work together to promote unity and stability. In the paper the major theoretical perspectives in sociology the writer focuses on the institutions being the "structures" in structural functionalism, playing an important role in the stability and survival of society. Functionalist believe that institutions are interdependent of each other, such as schools rely on parents to provide students that are socialized and classroom setting; businesses depend on schools to provide well trained employees, the public depends on businesses for products and services, the state depends on both the public and business for revenue and so on. Everything being interdependent achieving function and stability.
According to Herbert Gans there are many reasons why poverty is functional to society. The main idea on of the function poverty plays in our society is to make it possible for respectable professions and occupations to expand and exists. Poverty ensures the 'dirty work' will get done, creates jobs for occupations that serve the poor, and helps advance people into different classes. I tend to agree with Gans, in the sense that there are jobs that need to get done which wealthier people would avoid doing, and that with a impoverished society there will be jobs to help those in need. Although it might seem immoral or unreasonable to see a "need" for poverty, to put it very bluntly in a society with only the wealthy, there would be no garbage men or janitors.

· What is conflict theory? In what ways do social institutions advantage capitalists?

Conflict theory is the opposite of structural functionalism, meaning society interaction is based off of competitions rather than unity. society is made up of different social groups competing with each other over limited resources. conflict theorist believe that social order is achieved when...

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