Mid Term Essay

1820 words - 7 pages

Mid-Term Essay One of the many tasks of sociologists is to explain why and how society acts the way it does and furthermore to be able to predict human behavior in various situations. One of the ways that sociologists explain and predict behaviors in a society is through the structure-functional theory. The structure-functional concept is, I believe, the best theory to explain behavior within a society. In this essay I will explain some of the ideas that this theory presents, provide examples of each of these ideas, then compare it to another theory that sociologists use as well known as the conflict theory. In addition, I will also explain why I consider the structure-functional theory to be the theory that best explains behaviors within society.The first idea in the structure-functional theory states that society is like a system or an organism. This means that society has a certain order to it. It works like a structure, rather than performing random acts. Each function affects everything else within the society. Everything in a system or organism is connected and has its boundaries. An example of this idea would be the way that society organizes things. There are many structures in a society like for example religious structures, economic, family structures, etc. By these structures we are able to observe how society has an orderly manner of running things. This makes society like an organism in the sense that we have certain systems that perform different functions and all of them are connected. If one of the functions no longer works then, unless some other system takes the place of that function, the organism no longer works.An additional point in the structure-functional theory that I believe is important is the statement that certain functions must be fulfilled for the society or social systems to exist. This means that society has certain rules and boundaries by which it must abide in order to survive. Some of these functions are protection, procreation, socialization, energy or the production of food, waste removal, and distributive resources. This idea can be illustrated through the existence of certain structures. For example, our economic structure is critical to society. Without our economic structure, our society would be completely chaotic.Another important point of the structure-functional theory is the view that all structures are functional. This statement explains how all recurring patterns of social behavior or interactions serve a purpose and are useful in some way. All structures work to serve a goal or have an objective and maintain the social system by fulfilling a job. An example of this is the family structure. The function that the family structure provides is to procreate, both create and reduce jobs and to raise children and teach them how to become respectable members of society. Another example of an existing structure in our society is poverty. By maintaining a certain level of poverty, it is possible to keep...

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