Soc 102 on structural functionalism
Soc 102 on structural functionalism SOC 102
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Freddie816 on Sunday April 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 102 at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Jepson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 26 views. For similar materials see Contemporary Sociological Theory in Sociology at University of California - Los Angeles.
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Date Created: 04/24/16
4/5/16 ● Structural functionalism ○ Began with Talcott Parsons, ideas dominated during the 20’s ○ Main question (Hobbesian theory on social order): How is it that social order is maintained within society? Why are people not just killing each other? ■ Hobbes: society is held together by a supreme ruler who instills fear among members of society and forces people to obey (intimidation/threat of force) ■ Parsons: society is held together through a system of interrelated parts shared ideas, values and beliefs;similar to an organism, members work together to maintain the whole (the system/society) ● In contrast to coercion that is short lived, systems last because each member of society agrees to live by shared ideas, values and beliefs (moral rules)social contract, which become internalized and routine that people learn to conform automatically ● In other words, people can live together because they share the same beliefs ■ The economy ● According to structural functionalism, each member of society works to benefit the economy through individual roles ● Ex the hierarchy of social order: ○ The economy (social structure) ○ Corporation (institution) ○ Business (organization) ○ Worker’s (role) ● Each of these subsystems functions to maintain the economy, some are valued more than other (hierarchy of power), if one were to disappear from the bottom of the hierarchy such as a worker, it is unlikely that this would hurt the whole ie. the economy ○ In other words, each subsystem, be it negative or positive, serves a greater purpose: to maintain the economy. So even if we think something is bad in society, most likely is that it is serving to maintain society. Ieglobalization: this eliminates jobs but keeps our prices low. War: hurts us financially but protects our economy. Athletes: our tax dollars make up their salary but their function provides society with entertainment ○ The larger the structure, the more important it is for our system. I.eathletes are paid a lot because they are important for the system (society values leisure so we pay athletes ridiculous amounts of money 4/5/16 ■ Education: we go to school everyday because society values education and is the best way to make a living ■ How are people motivated to do what they do tov maintain the system the way that it is? ● Moore and Kingsley: although equality is valued by society it must be limited ○ inequality is a universal and necessary part of society ○ Competition increases as it rewards people certain benefits over others ● Both functionalists argue that through inequality, our society motivates people to do what they do (maintain the system). Such as a doctor who goes to school for 20 years, he does so in order to gain the unequal benefits that come with his title: a high salary. If there was no inequality among society, and people did not gain certain benefits over other, people would not be motivated to maintain our structure of society ● People compete for higher positions in order to reap the benefits (people compete for top positions in order to gain more benefits than others) ○ People at the top of the social hierarchy must reap from certain benefits in order for roles to be fulfilled/for society to prosper ○ Higher incomes are evidence of the functionality in maintaining the social system that people perform ● However, this poses a problem. Relationships thrive on equality and through varying levels of money, power and prestige, increases inequality and thus ruins the relationship.The more MPP one has, the more isolated he becomes ○ ie high level of competition in UCLA soc department increases isolation/people work alone in their research as they work to gain more MPP ○ Some of the most successful people are the most miserable ○ Marxist view of functionalism ■ Argues that social inequality is unjust and promotes meritocracy: that people are where they are based on merit ● This ideology is used to justify economic inequalities 4/5/16 ■ People are on top of the social structure because they exploit the economy.(have more capital). Thus, they do not benefit society but benefit themselves ● Most people get their wealth through inheritances not through hard work. IeBill gateswould he have found Microsoft if not for the advantage he was given: his inheritance ? ○ Talcott parsons on structural functionalism ■ Parsonian thinking was the most prominent after WWII ■ His theory was that each social system must meet 4 fundamental requirements in order to exist (AGILE) → each requirement works for an institution ● Adaptation ○ Adaptation is the requirement for each social system to adapt to the larger social and physical environment ■ This includes the need for a system to exist and thrive in coordination with nature/weather/soil ○ Social: through means such as trade, societies have evolved in order to meet this essential requirement by trading their own goods for other necessities. Ex: Saudi Arabia is able to survive in a desert environment by trading oil for other goods ● Goal attainment ○ The requirement for social systems to give individuals an ultimate shared objective. It is this shared notion of an ultimate goal that hold people together (Goals give people a purpose/solidarity) ● Ex US goal: the pursuit for happiness ○ Goal attainment is usually set out by the government ■ ieProtect people from danger. ● The more important the goal, the more we value those who carry the goal out (police officer, veteran etc ● Integration ○ The requirement for every social system to integrate individuals into society ■ Integrating individuals allows people to work together and maintain the system ● Exthe family (teaches the child to cooperate/work well with others)→ works 4/5/16 in harmony for the school (rears children into valuable employees)→ works in harmony with the economy ● Ex law, religion, the family etc ● Latent pattern maintenance ○ Every social system needs to give people a break in order to allow them to rejuvenate and thus, increase productivityR enews values ■ Ex coffee breaks, paid vacations, paid maternity/paternity leave ■ Model of action systems ● Cultural system enforces latent pattern maintenance through shared values and beliefs (reward and punish the individual through shared social values) ● Social system enforce integration among individuals such as by increasing tolerance in an increasingly diverse society ● Personality system the primary agency of action processes, hence, the implementation of cultural principles and requirements/shared goal ● Behavioral Organism “the adaptive subsystem” ie regulates behavior by channeling biological impulses into socially acceptable ways; a good society allows for some flow of release into socially acceptable ways. For instance: marriage regulates people’s sex drive and allows for the release of sexual tension within a monogamous relationship.
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