An analysis of structural perspectives of functionalism and marxism

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An analysis of structural perspectives of functionalism and marxism

Law of three stages Auguste Comtethe "Father of Positivism ", pointed out the need to keep society unified as many traditions were diminishing. He was the first person to coin the term sociology.

Comte suggests that sociology is the product of a three-stage development: From the beginning of human history until the end of the European Middle Agespeople took a religious view that society expressed God's will. People began seeing society as a natural system as opposed to the supernatural.

This began with enlightenment and the ideas of HobbesLockeand Rousseau. Perceptions of society reflected the failings of a selfish human nature rather than the perfection of God. Describing society through the application of the scientific approachwhich draws on the work of scientists.

He was in many ways the first true sociological functionalist. Just as the structural parts of the human body — the skeleton, muscles, and various internal organs — function independently to help the entire organism survive, social structures work together to preserve society.

Cultural anthropology also consistently uses functionalism. This evolutionary modelunlike most 19th century evolutionary theories, is cyclical, beginning with the differentiation and increasing complication of an organic or "super-organic" Spencer's term for a social system body, followed by a fluctuating state of equilibrium and disequilibrium or a state of adjustment and adaptationand, finally, the stage of disintegration or dissolution.

Following Thomas Malthus ' population principles, Spencer concluded that society is constantly facing selection pressure s internal and external that force it to adapt its internal structure through differentiation. Every solution, however, causes a new set of selection pressures that threaten society's viability.

It should be noted that Spencer was not a determinist in the sense that he never said that Selection pressures will be felt in time to change them; They will be felt and reacted to; or The solutions will always work.

Structural Functionalism and Marxism

In fact, he was in many ways a political sociologist[12] and recognized that the degree of centralized and consolidated authority in a given polity could make or break its ability to adapt.

In other words, he saw a general trend towards the centralization of power as leading to stagnation and ultimately, pressures to decentralize. More specifically, Spencer recognized three functional needs or prerequisites that produce selection pressures: He argued that all societies need to solve problems of control and coordination, production of goods, services and ideasand, finally, to find ways of distributing these resources.

An analysis of structural perspectives of functionalism and marxism

Initially, in tribal societies, these three needs are inseparable, and the kinship system is the dominant structure that satisfies them. As many scholars have noted, all institutions are subsumed under kinship organization, [13] [14] but, with increasing population both in terms of sheer numbers and densityproblems emerge with regard to feeding individuals, creating new forms of organization—consider the emergent division of labour—coordinating and controlling various differentiated social units, and developing systems of resource distribution.

The solution, as Spencer sees it, is to differentiate structures to fulfill more specialized functions; thus a chief or "big man" emerges, soon followed by a group of lieutenants, and later kings and administrators.

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The structural parts of society e. Therefore, social structures work together to preserve society. He coined the term " survival of the fittest " in discussing the simple fact that small tribes or societies tend to be defeated or conquered by larger ones.

Of course, many sociologists still use his ideas knowingly or otherwise in their analyses, especially due to the recent re-emergence of evolutionary theory. Structural functionalism and Parsons have received a lot of criticism.

Numerous critics have pointed out Parsons' underemphasis of political and monetary struggle, the basics of social change, and the by and large "manipulative" conduct unregulated by qualities and standards.

Structural functionalism, and a large portion of Parsons' works, appear to be insufficient in their definitions concerning the connections amongst institutionalized and non-institutionalized conduct, and the procedures by which institutionalization happens.

He held that "the social system is made up of the actions of individuals. Social norms were always problematic for Parsons, who never claimed as has often been alleged [ citation needed ] that social norms were generally accepted and agreed upon, should this prevent some kind of universal law.

Whether social norms were accepted or not was for Parsons simply a historical question.

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As behaviors are repeated in more interactions, and these expectations are entrenched or institutionalized, a role is created. Parsons defines a "role" as the normatively-regulated participation "of a person in a concrete process of social interaction with specific, concrete role-partners.

In one sense, an individual can be seen to be a "composition" [15] of the roles he inhabits. Certainly, today, when asked to describe themselves, most people would answer with reference to their societal roles.

Parsons later developed the idea of roles into collectivities of roles that complement each other in fulfilling functions for society.A Comparison of Marxist and Functionalist Views on Society There is a division between functionalists and Marxists over the functions of the society.

Marxism was founded by Karl Marx. Marx saw society as divided into two major parts, the economic base otherwise known as the infrastructure and the super-structure.

Marxism and Functionalism were two ideologies that became a part of our society around 19th century but also captured the changes in 20th century, in their own unique perspectives and helped us understand the society through their point of view (Maidansky, 45). Marxism was founded by a German philosopher, economist and sociologist, Karl Marx.

Fredrich Engels also contributed to development the works. Marxism offered a radical alternative to the functionalism perspective and was developed in the s.

Both perspectives of Marx and Durkheim, aspired for a Utopian society. In the social sciences, functionalism and Marxism are among the more discussed and utilized theories.

Comparison of Marxism and Functionalism - Compare and contrast table in A Level and IB Sociology

They are used as lenses and perspectives to explore and study social issues and systems. Functionalism (also known as structural functionalism) sees society as a complex collection of working elements - each part has its own function so that.

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Compare and Contrast Functionalism and Marxism Essay Sample. Functionalism and Marxism are both known to be structural perspectives, due to the fact that they concentrate on a group of people rather than on the individual himself.

The most important thing to note is that both theories are macro-structural perspectives that hold a deterministic view of society. However, Marxism is based on economic factors whereas functionalism emphasises the importance of socialisation, shared culture and value consensus.

Always note that.

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