- This article uses content from the Wikipedia article on Structural functionalism under the terms of the CC-by-SA 3.0 license.
This approach looks at society through a macro-level orientation, which is a broad focus on the social structures that shape society as a whole, and believes that society has evolved like organisms. This approach looks at both social structure and social functions. Functionalism addresses society as a whole in terms of the function of its constituent elements; namely norms, customs, traditions, and institutions.
A common analogy, popularized by Herbert Spencer, presents these parts of society as "organs" that work toward the proper functioning of the "body" as a whole. In the most basic terms, it simply emphasizes "the effort to impute, as rigorously as possible, to each feature, custom, or practice, its effect on the functioning of a supposedly stable, cohesive system". For Talcott Parsons, "structural-functionalism" came to describe a particular stage in the methodological development of social science, rather than a specific school of thought.
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- Articles and essays
- "The Social Function of Economic Inequality" by Mark Tovey, December 2014
- "The Social Function of Credit-Default Swaps" by Philipp Bagus, June 2010
- "The Social Imperative of Sound Money" by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr., September 2008
- by Robert P. Murphy