What is the role of Functionalism in sociology?
Functionalism is one the theoretical perspective in sociology. It regards society as a system made up of the different part which depends on each other. Different institutions perform specific functions within society to keep society going in the same way as the different organs of a human body perform different functions to maintain the whole. In our society, for example, the government provides education for children of the family which in return pays taxes on which the government depends to keep itself functioning. Functionalists argue that there is a social structure that shapes individual behaviour through the process of socialization and successful society is based on value consensus. This value consensus enables people to co-operate and work together to achieve shared goals. The functionalist view family as a nuclear family structure with a father, mother and children. It focused on the functions of the family in society and its members. It looks at how the family as an institution helps in maintaining order and stability in society and the significance of the family for its individual members.