Functionalist Perspective

Definition 1
Functionalism: Every part of society has a purpose…

Examples or function in society: Reproduction function, socialization function, protective function

Functionalism is optimistic: Always see things in a positive way.

Functionalism is also compared to the human body, to explain how functionalism works. For a human to be alive it must need its heart, brain, organs, etc. Everything must work together in order to be functional.

Functionalism is a consensus approach.

My personal example of functionalism: I’m currently a full-time student. Early Achievers are helping me pay for school because I work in an Early Achievers site.  I’m working towards my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. My educators are preparing me for my future employment as a Preschool Teacher. Schools educate so people like us can get a job. Jobs allow people to spend money at local businesses. Businesses pay taxes to the government and the Government uses taxes to fund school systems and so on. Everything works together so it can function.

Definition 2
All aspects of a society are necessary for the survival of that society.

  • A good example of functionalism in my life is my family.
  • My family and I all work together to achieve a common goal.
  • If one of my family members doesn’t contribute then we lose that aspect of achieving a common goal.
  • In turn this causes my family to not be as productive and we lose that functional part of our system.

Definition 3
All aspects of a society serve a function each part work together to keep that society functioning as a whole this is also known as or called structural functionalism.

Example of functionalism: My family and I work together as a whole to help me be successful in school, My parents will take the kids for the weekend in order for me to study, I organize my planner every week for assignments, study time, testing etc along with making a schedule for my kids. In turn it has worked and been very successful. If one of us don’t contribute or stick to the plan we set forth then it causes us to be off track and lose that structure in our family plan.


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Our Sociological Glossary, by LWTech Students Copyright © 2021 by Lake Washington Institute of Technology is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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