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 Structural Functionalism is a sociological theory that

attempts to explain why society functions the way it
does by focusing on the relationships between the
various social institutions that make up society (e.g.,
government, law, education, religion, etc).
A general diagram of structional
People Aso Ask?

 What is a structural functional theory?

 The three main sociological perspective.

1.Functionalist Perspective
2.Conflict Perspective
3.Symbolic Interactionist Perspective
When was structural functionalism developed?
Functionalism and Parsons

 A. Classical and Contemporary Sociology

Beginning with Parsons and the functionalist
approach to sociology we leave the classical
sociologists – Marx, Weber, and Durkheim – and
examine more recent sociological approaches.
B. Functionalism – Introduction
1. Overview. Many aspects of the functionalist
approach to sociology are similar to those of
other sociological approaches, but with a
particular emphasis on function,
interdependence, consensus, equilibrium,
and evolutionary change. Some of these
aspects are:

 a. Macro. The focus is macro-sociological, with

institutions and structures existing in the society as a
whole. This is the origin of the structure part of the
structural functional approach.
 b. Function. The different parts of each society
contribute positively to the operation or functioning of
the system as a whole. This is the functional part of the
structural functional approach.
 . Interdependence and Equilibrium. Functionalism
attempts to explain the relationship of different parts of
the system to each other, and to the whole.
 d. Evolutionary Change. While equilibrium, consensus,
and static rather than dynamic analysis is most
common, there is some discussion of change
2. Function. Each society has certain
needs in that there are a number of
activities that must be carried out for
social life to survive and develop.

 3. Structures. Functionalist analysis looks on social

systems as having certain needs, and society as a
system of social structures (economic, legal,
educational, gender structures).
 4. Interdependence. Since society is composed of
different parts, and the proper operation of these parts
is necessary to the smooth operation of society as a
whole, the interdependence of the parts is an
important feature of functional analysis.
 5. Equilibrium. Functionalists argue that societies are
generally in a normal state of affairs, with the different
parts functioning smoothly to contribute to the
operation of the society.
6. Consensus – Norms and Values. The
functional approach tends to argue that
there is consensus within the social

 What is Durkheim functionalist theory?

 What is the structural functional theory?
 What is structural functionalism in sociology?
 What is the functionalism?
 Is the functionalist theory macro or micro?
 What is the functionalist theory?
History of Structural

 Functionalism developed slowly over time with the help of

many sociologists in different parts of the world. Perhaps the
most significant contributors to the initial development of this
theory are Émile Durkheim and A.R. Radcliffe-Brown. However,
we begin with Herbert Spencer.

 Herbert Spencer, an English sociologist, was a forerunner of

formalized Structural Functioanlism. He is best known for
coining the phrase "survival of the fittest" in his book Principles
of Sociology (1896). Spencer’s intention was to support a
societal form of natural selection. One of the primary focii in
Spencer's work was societal equilibrium. Spencer argued that
there is a natural tendency in society towards equilibrium. Thus,
even when the conditions of the society are altered, the
resulting changes to the social structure will balance out,
returning the society to equilibrium.[4]
Structional functionalism

 https://youtu.be/s3NxIaHSEHo