An overview of the principle of functionalism as a sociological perspective

Overview[ edit ] In social theoryreflexivity may occur when theories in a discipline should apply equally forcefully to the discipline itself, for example in the case that the theories of knowledge construction in the field of sociology of scientific knowledge should apply equally to knowledge construction by sociology of scientific knowledge practitioners, or when the subject matter of a discipline should apply equally well to the individual practitioners of that discipline, for example when psychological theory should explain the psychological mental processes of psychologists. More broadly, reflexivity is considered to occur when the observations or actions of observers in the social system affect the very situations they are observing, or theory being formulated is disseminated to and affects the behaviour of the individuals or systems the theory is meant to be objectively modelling. Thus for example an anthropologist living in an isolated village may affect the village and the behaviour of its citizens under study.

An overview of the principle of functionalism as a sociological perspective

His family was devoutly Jewish, and his father, grandfather, and great grandfather were all rabbis. He graduated in and began teaching the subject in France.

In he was appointed to teach Social Sciences and Pedagogy at the University of Bordeaux, allowing him to teach the first ever official sociology courses in France.

Also inDurkheim married Louise Dreyfus, with whom he would eventually have two children. A Study in SociologySuicide. InDurkheim was finally given a promotion in the form of the chair of the Science of Education at the Sorbonne.

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In he became a full professor and inhis position was changed to formally include sociology. Henceforth he was chair of the Science of Education and Sociology. Here he gave lectures on a number of subjects and published a number of important essays as well as his final, and most important, major work The Elementary Forms of Religious LifeForms.

The outbreak of World War I would prove to have disastrous consequences for Durkheim.

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From this Durkheim would never recover and in November he died of a stroke, leaving his last great work, La Morale Moralitywith only a preliminary introduction. During his lifetime, Durkheim was politically engaged, yet kept these engagements rather discrete. Nevertheless, he supported a number of socialist reforms, and had a number of important socialist friends, but never committed himself to the party and did not make political issues a primary concern.

Despite his muted political engagement, Durkheim was an ardent patriot of France.

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He hoped to use his sociology as a way to help a French society suffering under the strains of modernity, and during World War I he took up a position writing anti-German propaganda pamphlets, which in part use his sociological theories to help explain the fervent nationalism found in Germany.

Intellectual Development and Influences Durkheim was not the first thinker to attempt to make sociology a science.

Auguste Comte, who wished to extend the scientific method to the social sciences, and Herbert Spencer, who developed an evolutionary utilitarian approach that he applied to different areas in the social sciences, made notable attempts and their work had a formative influence on Durkheim.

However, Durkheim was critical of these attempts at sociology and felt that neither had sufficiently divorced their analyses from metaphysical assumptions.

While Durkheim incorporated elements of evolutionary theory into his own, he did so in a critical way, and was not interested in developing a grand theory of society as much as developing a perspective and a method that could be applied in diverse ways.

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With Emile Boutroux, Durkheim read Comte and got the idea that sociology could have its own unique subject matter that was not reducible to any other field of study.

Gabriel Monod and Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges, both historians, introduced Durkheim to systematic empirical and comparative methods that could be applied to history and the social sciences.

Charles Renouvier, a neo-Kantian philosopher, also had a large impact on Durkheim. Between andDurkheim spent an academic year visiting universities in Germany.

What Durkheim found there impressed him deeply. Importantly these scholars were relating morality to other social institutions such as economics or the law, and in the process were emphasizing the social nature of morality.

Arguably the most important of these thinkers for Durkheim was Wundt, who rejected methodological individualism and argued that morality was a sui generis social phenomenon that could not be reduced to individuals acting in isolation.Expert power is an individual's power deriving from the skills or expertise of the person and the organization's needs for those skills and expertise.

Unlike the others, this type of power is usually highly specific and limited to the particular area in which the expert is trained and qualified.

Émile Durkheim (—) Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist who rose to prominence in the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries. Along with Karl Marx and Max Weber, he is credited as being one of the principal founders of modern sociology.

An overview of the principle of functionalism as a sociological perspective

Purpose and Goals. The Division of Social Work, Behavioral and Political Sciences provides support courses for all undergraduate programs in addition to offering four undergraduate degrees and one graduate degree.

This guide stresses the systematic causal analysis of gender inequality. The analytical questions raised and the readings listed consider why and how gender inequality arises, varies across and within societies, persists over generations, produces conformity by individuals and institutions, resists change, and sometimes changes dramatically.

The concept of information as we use it in everyday English in the sense knowledge communicated plays a central role in today's society. The concept became particularly predominant since end of World War II with the widespread use of computer networks. According to the functionalist perspective, also called functionalism, each aspect of society is interdependent and contributes to society's functioning as a whole. The government, or state, provides education for the children of the family, which in turn pays taxes on . Understanding Depression: Family Systems Theory - Depression is classified as a mood disorder by the DSM-IV () and is defined as a mental illness characterized by sadness, general apathy, a loss of self-esteem, feelings of guilt, and, at times, suicidal tendencies (Lexicon, n.d).

Links to posts on the sociology of education for A Level Sociology, including perspectives on education (Functionalism, Marxism etc.), explanations for differential educational achievement (class, gender, ethnicity), in-school processes (labelling etc.) and the impact of social policies such as the Education Reform Act.

The concept of information as we use it in everyday English in the sense knowledge communicated plays a central role in today's society. The concept became particularly predominant since end of World War II with the widespread use of computer networks.

Power (social and political) - Wikipedia