Functionalist perspective of the social problem of poverty

Views of social problems Functionalism Social stability is necessary for a strong society, and adequate socialization and social integration are necessary for social stability. Slow social change is desirable, but rapid social change threatens social order. Solutions to social problems should take the form of gradual social reform rather than sudden and far-reaching change. Despite their negative effects, social problems often also serve important functions for society.

Functionalist perspective of the social problem of poverty

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.

Sociological Perspectives on Social Problems

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.

Functionalist perspective of the social problem of poverty

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. 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.

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.

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. 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.

The Sociological Imagination

Parsons later developed the idea of roles into collectivities of roles that complement each other in fulfilling functions for society. These are functional in the sense that they assist society in operating [18] and fulfilling its functional needs so that society runs smoothly.

Contrary to prevailing myth, Parsons never spoke about a society where there was no conflict or some kind of "perfect" equilibrium. To reach a "perfect" equilibrium was not any serious theoretical question in Parsons analysis of social systems, indeed, the most dynamic societies had generally cultural systems with important inner tensions like the US and India.

These tensions were a source of their strength according to Parsons rather than the opposite. Parsons never thought about system-institutionalization and the level of strains tensions, conflict in the system as opposite forces per se.We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us.

Three theoretical perspectives guide sociological thinking on social problems: functionalist theory, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionist theory.

These perspectives look at the same social problems, but they do so in different ways. Structural functionalism, or simply functionalism, is "a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability".

This approach looks at society through a macro-level orientation, which is a broad focus on the social structures that shape society as a whole, and believes that society has evolved like organisms. structural-functionalist approach: Two classic sociological approaches to poverty and social stratification are structural-functionalism and conflict theory.

The problem of social exclusion is usually tied to that of equal opportunity, as some people are more subject to such exclusion than others.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Functionalist View on Society. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the functionalist view on society.

Functionalism is a consensus perspective, whereby society is based on shared values and norms into which members are socialised.

For functionalists, society is seen as a system of social institutions such as the economy, religion and the family all of which. Aug 15,  · Functionalist Perspective The functionalist perspective is based largely on the works of Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, and Robert Merton.

According to functionalism, society is a system of interconnected parts that work together in harmony to maintain a state of balance and social equilibrium for the whole.

Explaining Poverty | Social Problems: Continuity and Change