Functionalist Ideas For The Orthodox Sociologist Sociology Essay

Function can be an unclear term, often used by orthodox sociologists to specify the reasonable and social host to roles, establishments and buildings in terms of the production and reproductionof a society as a social

Functionalists consider everything serves a specific function inside our modern culture and these functions need to be comprehended. Everyone has a job to complete this functional society, quite simply we have to have stratification so as everyone has an objective. Functionalists are very

boundaried and thin within the square. Because of this theory to really work, there has to be a consensus between the people that make up contemporary society, they have to imagine everything is in the best interest of this so called utopia. There is actually no conflict of interest. This does not appear possible in this modern day, so can functionalism still be considered a plausible theory. It does of course have its merits, yes everything does have its function, but these functions are up for a degree of interpretation and change. Regrettably functionalism

does not describe change except in a gradual evolutionary way.

Conflict Theory

Conflict theory is a body of theories including marxism, which claims that all social orders are fractured by cultural turmoil, typically between classes and other groups, over control of appreciated resources including wealth, electricity and property (Bessant & Watts, 1999). Turmoil theorists believe conflict is the foundation of public order and that a minority of men and women with power have the ability to impose their will over others. There's a conflict of interest, people have different goals and purpose. They'll use whatever means to gain this, even to the detriment of others in their contemporary society. Those with more power and money be capable of gain a higher level of services by the main institutions in our society (such as education and health), thus creating a larger level of stratification in modern culture. This in turn creates more issue as those who cannot find the services they want consider deviant or dependant methods to gain the same baisc needs. Alas it is just a vicious circle which continues to breed contempt from both sides of the fence inside our society.


Durkheim (1858-1917) was one of the original 'founding fathers' of positivist sociology (practical theory), his matter was how to protect society. The basis for public order (how population hung jointly and worked as time passes) was not economical but moral for Durkheim, portrayed in the sort of solidarity that a population exhibited (Willis, 1999).

Durkheim was particularly concerned to tell apart sociable facts, which he sometimes referred to as "states of the collective head, " from the forms these state governments assumed when manifested through private specific minds. This differentiation is most apparent in instances of customs,

moral and legal rights and religious beliefs etc.


For Karl Marx (1818-1883), the transformation had to be understood mainly as a change in the economic framework of societies; an alteration in the means where economic production was organised from a system called feudalism to one called capitalism (Willis 1999). Marx was a man seeking to understand modern culture, he followed various paths and was alienated often for his ideas. His ideas on value and surplus value, accumulation, exploitation,

pauperization, crisis and appropriation, class struggle and trend made no immediate impact on the staff' activity, until after his death in 1883 (Rius 1999).


We are entering a new period in world background - one in which fewer and fewer and fewer personnel will be had a need to produce the products and services for the global inhabitants. . . For your of the modern era, people's value has been measured by the marketplace value of the labour. . . now new ways of defining human worth and social relationships will need to be explored (Rifkin 1996). Life has improved, globalization and feminism have had a huge impact on the work environment about the world. Technology has also made many jobs redundant. Unemployment has become a concern allaround the globe, explanations of this phenomenom are plenty. So how exactly does unemployment serve a purpose, or is it just another chance for the powerful to stamp on those with less power? The federal government views the unemployment situation as an idividual problem. It is due to the insufficient training of the individual, they now make people have training to keep to get unemployment benefits. That is a great idea so far as keeping the average person active and increasing the self-esteem and knowledge, but what then? We are now creating a lot of skilled people for positions which don't are present. We need to look at just why there are not enough positions to employ these individuals. If it is not lack of skills, then what is it? Could it be that they administration or us as a culture aren't doing enough to promotebusiness in Australia, instead sending our work insert abroad for cheaper labour. We have to check out why the positions are non existant rather than supposing it's the individuals fault. Unemployment affects our society in so many ways. The four main establishments I am considering are family, education, health and government.

Firstly the family, unemployment places added financial and mental strain on the family. Having less income can cause many individuals to have to live without the essential essentials which we take for granted, then they need to turn to welfare companies to be able to survive. Insufficient income does mean children often have to miss out on school activities

and sports activities programs as the family budget can no longer stretch the length. This monetary pressure can cause malfunction in both person and family. This may turn in home violence, alcoholism, gaming, family dysfunction and even suicide. Unemployment has such far reaching influences on family life. Alcoholism, smoking, the illegitimate use of drugs and offense are associated with unemployment (Makkai 1994). This can then be produced even more significant when their is further stratification caused by age, impairment, ethnicity, gender, gender, class and competition. For example, if your competition was one that expected the men to work and the wife to stay at home and raise the children. When you feel unemployed, you might lose your status as both a spouse and member of your community, as you can no longer provide correctly for your family. Each of these aspects further escalates the impact of unemployment.

Secondly, there exists education. General public versus private is already a hotly argued concern, do children get a much better education from private or public education. This isn't an issue for Australians who cannot spend the money for private education system. It is still a struggle though to pay for catalogs, uniforms, excursions, camps and other institution activities. Add unemployment and the issue becomes even harder. If you currently have your kids in private education and become unemployed, you may well not be able to meet up with the financial needs. Taking your child out

of their school and changing those to the public education system can then be very traumatic for everyone engaged. Once more add the other stratification issues mentioned before and the situation can become very volatile. You might have certain reasons for attending special schools, if then cannot find the money for to maintain this example what happens to your child. For example, a special university for your disabled child, mainstream general population school might not exactly have the ability to handle your childs impairment. Your child is then remaining in times which is harmful to their physical condition.

Thirdly, authorities, unemployment is such a hot concern with voters that the government must be seen to be doing up to they can to help the situation. They are simply always making offers to decrease the unemployment rate, however the unmployment rate does not really give a precise picture of how many people are out of work. It is merely those who find themselves listed as looking for work. The government provides welfare and training for unemployed nonetheless they do not appear to see the bigger picture. The government also creates stratification insurance firms different payments and services for different races, somewhat than basing services provided on a person needs basis. For example, Austudy and Abstudy.

Finally, health system, the health system is hit hard by unemployment especially with the drop in bulk billing. Many unemployed people cannot manage to visit a non-bulk billing doctor so instead go into their local crisis department. This is triggering congestion in the emergency department. There is also an increase of condition (mental and physical) and suicide between the unemployed. This is creating a huge sketch on our medicare and health system. Those on low earnings or unemployed cannot afford to acquire private medical health insurance, so are therefore no getting all the help they need. We are creating a system where people are departing illnesses and traumas until they are very serious because of the fact that they cannot afford to visit a specialist.

We will now look at the particular functionalists and the turmoil theorists say about it.

Unemployment (Functionalism)

Functionalists believe that unemployment serves a purpose in society. We are in need of unemployment in our society, it plays its part. For all those who are or have been unemployed, it is hard to see how it can possibly be good for society, part of the master plan. Unemployment creates much misery and further increases the challenge of stratification.

Those in the underprivileged category have to rely on administration handouts, which only creates further poverty as those individuals struggle to pay the bills. This in turn impacts the family composition by adding extra cash pressures. This is the point though, unemployed people create improve centrelink staff, welfare organizations, counsellors and keep cheap discount stores in work. In addition, it maintains that there will always be you to definitely take the menial jobs that others don't want. Those lower classed people can do the jobs others won't. We are in need of the divisions to be sure there are people to cover all types of places in culture.

Unemployment (Conflict Theory)

Conflict theorists see unemployment as more proof those in a robust or priviledged position taking advantage of others. Electric power is the emphasis is an work situation, while employed you have a degree of vitality, both over your work environment and your own life. Once unemployed you feel powerless, reliant on the federal government to provide you an income. Once in this position, a person will probably take a job which is below their skills and for less pay, just so as to be earning money. The difference in school and standing continues to increase. Those with money, need not stoop to this type of position, they can instead wait around until an

appropriate job arises or they can enjoy further education to improve their position even more.


Unemployment takes on are major part inside our society, its influences are wide reaching. The implication that unemployment can be an individual problem scheduled to lack of skills, only seeks to improve the problem. The theory that who we live is depicted with what we do as a job, creates further stratification of our own culture. Long-term unemployment has been proven to be one of the main contributors to local violence and other varieties of criminal offense, as well as mental disorder and suicide (Baker 1993).

Whether we look at unemployment from a functional or conflict perspective, there is absolutely no right or wrong answer. We have to look at it from both perspectives to get a much better idea of the problem, and then to look at possible means of dealing with the issue. There will be unemployment due to changes in the environment, whether they are biological or technological. For this reason further insights into how culture handles unemployment is

necessary. Stratification is a main facet of the evolution of an society's social personality, when this is compounded with unemployment, alienation and dysfunction becomes a result.

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