Identify And Discuss The Key Features Of Both Functionalist And Marxist Theories. [25 Marks]

2777 words - 12 pages

Identify and discuss the key features of both Functionalist and Marxist theories. [25 Marks]

Functionalist and Marxist are macro sociological theories that give a better understanding of the society. Functionalist theory is referred to as the consensus whilst the Marxist theory is known as the conflict theory. Key features of both theories are going to be identified and discussed.

According to Haralambos and Holborn (2008), a theory is a set of ideas which attempts to explain how something works.

Functionalism is one of the major theoretical perspectives in sociology which explains how social order is possible or how society remains relatively stable.

Marxism is a theoretical ...view middle of the document...

A common goal provides an incentive for cooperation. (Haralambos and Holborn, 2008)

From a functionalist perspective, society is regarded as a system and for this system to survive its various parts must have some degree of fit or compatibility. Thus a functional prerequisite of society involves at least a minimal degree of integration between the parts. Many functionalists argue that this integration is based largely on value consensus, that is on agreement about values by members of society. Thus if the major values of society are expressed in the various parts of the social structure, those parts will be integrated. Thus, the parts must work hand in hand with each other. Moreover, for the continuation of the society, there must be a general consensus or agreement over basic values. For example, it can be argued that the value of materialism integrates many parts of the social structure in Western industrial society. The economic system produces a large range of goods, and ever increasing productivity is regarded as an important goal. The educational system is partly concerned with producing the skills and expertise to expand production and increase its efficiency. The family is an important unit of consumption, with its steadily rising demand for consumer durables such as washing machines, videos and microwaves. The political system is partly concerned with improving material living standards and raising productivity. (Giddens, 2006), and (Haralambos and Holborn, 2008).

In addition, functional pre-requisite is also another key feature of the functionalist theory. According to functionalists, societies have certain basic needs or requirements that must be met if they are to survive. Parson states that the society needs basic functional pre requisites for its survival. The pre requisites such as integration, adaptation, goal attainment and pattern maintenance are required. Society must adapt to the environment they live for it to continue to exist. Furthermore, the society must have a degree of control over the environment. A system of socializing new members of the society may also be regarded as a functional pre requisite, since, without culture, social life would not be possible. The society also needs food, shelter, water for it to survive. Therefore the economy must find means of producing those basic needs. Moreover, the society should set goals, so in order to attain them the society should set rules that need to be followed. Also the society must adjust and follow the rules, thus being integrated into the system and besides this, the society should maintain basic pattern and values. Having assumed a number of basic requirements for the survival of the society, the next step is to look at the parts of the social structure to see how they meet such functional pre requisites. (Fulcher and Scott, 2007)

Another key feature of the functionalist theory is that conflict is temporary. It is caused by scarcity of resources. When there is...

Other Essays Like Identify and Discuss the Key Features of Both Functionalist and Marxist Theories. [25 Marks]

Assess the of Functionalist Theories in Understanding Religion Today

1223 words - 5 pages Assess the of Functionalist theories in understanding religion today Functionalists have put forward their perspective on religion and how it benefits both society and the individual starting with how religion brings people together harmoniously, creating social cohesion and a sense of belonging as people believe in the same thing and all abide by the same rules. Religion creates and maintains a value consensus whilst giving society social

Assess the Usefulness of Functionalist Theories in Understanding Religion Today

657 words - 3 pages what functionalists ignores to point out is how in today’s society religion it can also be disruptive and dysfunctional for society. For example there could be a conflict between different religions. In the Indian subcontinent warfare is often seen between Muslims and Hindus, this is shows how religion is creating a great divide between groups of peoples and parts of countries. Theories that may say that functionalist theories are not useful in

A critical Marxist analysis of figurational theories justification of pain and injury within boxing

2740 words - 11 pages A critical Marxist analysis of figurational theories justification of pain and injury within boxing. Pain and injury has existed as a part of sports for thousands of years. However it is only recently that sociologist have begun to explore pain and injury from a sociological perspective. Most of the research that has been conducted in the field of pain and injury was primarily concerned with the bio-medical model and viewed pain and

Assess the Usefulness of the Functionalist View of the Family (24 Marks)

670 words - 3 pages Assess the usefulness of the functionalist view of the family. (24 marks) Functionalists believe that society is based on a value consensus – a set of shared norms and values – into which society socialises its members. This enables them to cooperate harmoniously to meet society’s needs and achieve shared goals. They view the family unit as a construct that fulfils important functions and keeps society running smoothly. Functionalists

Critically Discuss Some of the Main Features of Mainstream Social Psychology and Critical Approaches to Social Psychology

1192 words - 5 pages Critically discuss some of the main features of mainstream social psychology and critical approaches to social psychology. The most widely recognised definition of social psychology is an effort “to understand and explain how the thought, feeling, and behaviour of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others” (Allport). One of the first modern social psychology was an experiment conducted by Norman

Identify Key Aspects of Current Legislative Requirements and Code of Practice Within My Specialist Area

740 words - 3 pages Explain own role, responsibilities and boundaries of own role as a teacher. As a Teacher/Assessor, teaching in the lifelong learning sector, my roles, responsibilities and boundaries are qualities I often assess and reflect on using the teaching/training cycle. Firstly, my main responsibility is to identify the learner’s training needs, learning styles and what motivates them to learn. At my workplace, I conduct interviews/inductions with

Assess the Functionalist View of the Domestic Division of Labour. (21 Marks)

802 words - 4 pages Assess the functionalist view of the domestic division of labour. (21 marks) Domestic division of labour refers to the roles me and women play, in relation to housework, childcare and paid. Functionalist such as Young and Willmott believe and see that the family domestic division of labour has taken a ‘march of progress’. With this march of progress view they believe that the family life improving for all members within in the family and it’s

Discuss The Similarities Of Both Curly’S Wife And Crooks In The Novel Of “Of Mice And Men”

801 words - 4 pages Hiba Ayoub Year 10B 22-03-14Discuss the similarities of Both Curly's wife and Crooks in the novel of "Of Mice and Men".Despite the obvious physical differences, the characters of Curly's wife and Crooks are in fact very similar. They both battle with the consequences of loneliness, this a result of social isolation brought upon differences of race and gender. In this essay, I will discuss some of these similarities in more detail using evidence

Compare the Features of Nazism and Fascism

1483 words - 6 pages The resentment over the treaty of Versailles of Italy and Germany contribute to the rise of Totalitarian dictatorships, both of them rose for similar reasons at 1920s and 30s respectively. In hisroty, Both Nazism and Fascism are obvious examples of totalitarianism, and they both introduce one-party dictatorship, anti-communism and racial superiority. Besides, there are also some alike features between them, and that’s create a misperception to

Evaluate Whether Profit Maximisation Is Always the Most Important Objective of Firms. (25 Marks)

971 words - 4 pages because for large companies, they only have to gain enough profits to keep the shareholders satisfied and only enough profits so they don’t upset other competitors in the market. As I have explained, the managers have alternative theories other than profit maximisation to achieve. They can maximise these objectives while delivering a satisfactory level of profit for shareholder.

Assess the Usefulness of Feminist Theories of Religion. (33 Marks)

1512 words - 7 pages Assess the usefulness of feminist theories of religion. (33 marks) Like Marxist’s, feminists believe that religion can be an instrument of alienation and oppression , the key difference between Marxist theories of religion and feminism is that feminist’s believe religion exists to serve patriarchy as opposed to capitalism. The key feminist thinkers of religion are, Mary Daly, Simone de Beauvoir, Karen Armstrong, Jean Holme and Nawal El Sadawi

Related Papers

Explain Both The General Principles Of Utilitarianism And The Distinctive Features Of Rule Utilitarianism. (30 Marks)

964 words - 4 pages Explain both the general principles of utilitarianism and the distinctive features of rule utilitarianism. (30 marks) In the following essay in order to illustrate the general principles of Utilitarianism; I will first introduce the general principles of Utilitarianism as a theory used by many, then secondly I will explain the principles of rule utilitarianism by Mill. Finally I sum up both the principles and rule of utilitarianism

Identify And Discuss The Issues Relating To The Recognition Of Brand Names, For Both Internally Developed And Purchased Brand Names

1784 words - 8 pages Identify and discuss the issues relating to the recognition of brand names, for both internally developed and purchased brand names. Just like a person’s reputation is one of their most valuable assets, brand names have also become one the most valuable assets of a company. Brand valuation are fast gaining credibility and making it onto balance sheets, recognising brands as revenue-generating assets (Siu, May 2002). It has become a

Outline And Assess Marxist Theories Of Crime

984 words - 4 pages Marxist theories of crime are based on conflict, as opposed to the functionalist and subcultural explanations of crime, which are based on consensus. They claim that society is divided by capitalism and there is a conflict between the upper-classes and the working-classes. They suggest that social inequality, as a result of capitalism, is the cause of crime. The starting point for Marxist and neo-Marxist approaches is the laws, and how the ways

Marxist Theories (Crime And Deviance) Essay

1753 words - 8 pages Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the strength and limitations of Marxist theories in explaining crime and deviance (21 marks) Marxist theories of crime are based on conflict, as opposed to the functionalist and subcultural explanations of crime, which are based on consensus. They claim that society is divided by capitalism and there is a conflict between the upper-classes and the working-classes. They suggest that social