STRUCTUAL FUNCTIONALISM Caitlin, Snezana, Emma, Kaille, Emily, Ryan, Shudodip, Sara WHAT IS IT? States that when social institutions, (such as family, religion politics ,etc) meets the needs of citizens and puts emphasis on how social structures positively affect the individual, often over looking social injustices. Émile Durkheim • Known as the first sociologist, who argued the belief that society functions logically and protects its members. • He observed that humans are social creatures, and define themselves by their social interactions. • Believed that society is constantly changing and becoming more diverse (functional differentiation) and that this is good and necessary. • He work revealed that the causes of suicide are deeply rooted in society and he found the community and stability are needed for happiness. • He pioneered the modern method of statistical analysis and he set the precedent for other sociologists to follow as they research controversial issues. Talcott Parsons • Examined social behaviour as a single entity • Said that all social phenomena can be explained through their function in society, in other words, individuals are defined by the specific purpose that they serve • Argued that if something exists in many societies, it must be necessary. • People act according to the people around them, and that they want to cooperate with the people around them to achieve goals. • The research was controversial because they said that the negative parts of society serve a purpose. KEY TERM Functional Differentiation: • Divisions that are created to help deal with a complex environment. These divisions operate independently but are connected to one another.