For functionalists, society is seen as a system of social institutions such as the economy, religion and the family all of which perform socialisation functions. Weitz, R. (2013). culture is treated as though it is an undifferentiated 'glue' that everyone shares and which produces harmony; even the functionalist Merton recognised that sharing cultural values could lead to conflict) it is determinist; it doesn't give sufficient weight to human agency (1999). Nursing Standard, 25(38), 28–28. (2006). Aging Process in Silesia from a Sociological Perspective. More about Discuss the Strengths and Weaknesses of Functionalist Explanations as Applied to the Study of Contemporary Society. welfare in the absence of public services. It is a social system with, interrelated and interdependent parts. The researcher can always be objective and systematic in carrying out in-, vestigation. theory and research that includes basic assumptions, key issues, models of quality re-, search, and methods for seeking answers.” By implication, a paradigm may suggest, what can be studied, how it will be studied, and how data will be interpreted. On the other hand, vertical social, capital depicts ties with people of different hierarchies in terms of status, power, or prestige. The functionalist approach emphasizes that good health and effective health care are essential for a society’s ability to function, and it views the physician-patient relationship as hierarchical. Durkheim incriminated a number of variables. (2005). It draws an anology between an organism and society. This helps sociologists in conceptual analysis and, interpreting data based on the theoretical orientation. The chapter discusses this realist perspective, showing the basic features of functionalism as a positivist, nomothetic, deterministic, and macroscopic tradition. strengths and weaknesses of the sociological perspectives. He said that ill health affects our ability to work and perform our roles in society. (including health problems) that can deny people access to good life. This influences the wider functioning of the society, it prevented the fulfilment of social roles, such as paid employment and parental, duties. insurance, paid employment, and public provision of infrastructures). As conceived by Talcott Parsons (1951), the functionalist perspective emphasizes that good health and effective medical care are essential for a society’s ability to function. It has its origins in the works of Emile Durkheim, who was especially interested in how social order is possible or how society remains relatively stable.As such, it is a theory that focuses on the macro-level of social structure, rather than the micro-level of everyday life. Toward a neighborhood resource—based theory of social capital for health: bourhood economic deprivation and self-rated health in South, De Silva, M. J., McKenzie, K., Harpham, T., & Huttly. Parsons sought to analyse indi, to the society in terms of the roles performed. Comte (, be based on systematic empirical understanding of social events and to produce a, body of knowledge based on precise and verifiable evidence. It believes that basic needs (functional pre-requisites) are to be met in order for society to survive. Theories are usually tested and validated or debunked as adequate coherent ideas, to explain social phenomena. Third, sick people are expected to have their illness confirmed by a physician or other health-care professional and to follow the professional’s instructions in order to become well. Of course, while Durkheim identified that some psychological dispositions, can also account for suicide, he did not explore such factors adequately since that, would transcend the focus of sociology. malfunctioning, all other parts will be affected. Strengths and Weaknesses: Articles of Confederation The Articles of Confederation was the first written constitution of the United States. The first major feature of functionalism is organismic analogy. It strengths are seen in the way in which it explains the basic needs and function of society, these explanations can be used by other sociologists to improve and maintain an adequate society. The theories focus on structural relationships and, factors and consider individuals to be embodied (social) agents patterned to create, and recreate the social world. The different strengths and weaknesses of the various hospital classes could reflect the different roles they play in the healthcare system, Chenoweth says. Written by: Walter Johnson. As noted in Chap. This is the main claim of conflict/critical theory. Critics also say the approach neglects the effects of social inequality for health and illness. For instance, network contacts might provide health information, which. Alternative medicine is becoming increasingly popular, but so has criticism of it by the medical establishment. When the, regulative role of the society is too feeble, a state of normlessness or anomy prev, and political environment cannot ascertain the needs of the citizens or the traditional, norms and values are dwindling. their directives, for instance, by providing required samples (e.g., blood or urine). A strength of the functionalist theory is that it a macro degree structural theory which uses an organic analogy- utilizing the organic structure as a manner to depict the different parts within society. As usual, the major sociological perspectives that we have discussed throughout this book offer different types of explanations, but together they provide us with a more comprehensive understanding than any one approach can do by itself. Emke, I. Ramlagan, S., Peltzer, K., & Phaswana-Mafuya, N. (2013). various forms of injustices that may increase exposure of individuals. Email Address . Musto, D. F. 1997; Muntaner and Lynch, , p. 248) defines social capital as “the aggregate of the actual or. Fatalistic suicide results from excessive re, who encounter oppressive regulation or discipline, such as the slaves, are more prone, to fatalistic suicide. Although Marxism’s system of government is considered as communism, it places an emphasis on human rights, with its foundation encompassing equal gender roles, health care and access to … Social Capital and Health. Third, Parsons wrote approvingly of the hierarchy implicit in the physician-patient relationship. Its main strengths are found in the Parsonian school, which incorporated three of the four main theoretical tendencies in sociological theory: i.e. Parsons revisited: From the sick role to, Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and. The medicalization of society: On the transformation of human conditions into treatable disorders. While it is possible to derive the notions of social capital from the works of the, classical sociological theorists, it was not until 1900 that John Dewey, laid the foundation of, and mentioned the concept of social capital (Farr, Farr claimed that Dewey defined society as a form of associational life to, a realisation of any form of experience. may generate material/market and non-material/non-market returns to the individual. Strengths The theory is largely positive about most things in society, whereas some other sociological perspectives are quick to criticise, functionalists take a consensus approach (in society everyone is working towards the common good). Strong ties and bonding social capital were present within the migrant group, but weak ties and bridging social capital were also established which provided access to employment locally. Bourdieu, P. (1986). Collectiv, International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, 6. Key Terms. Society needs to produce goods and services for its members, which is the, function of the economic institution. The structured procedu-, ral approach further promotes the close association between medical sociology and, extent can be verified, falsified, or refuted and replicated, mainly because sociology. Sociological Perspectives: Their weeaknesses and their strengths. 2006), Social Capital and Health. Lupton (, that illness indicates a failure to conform to societal expectations and norms in some, way. The conflict approach also critiques efforts by physicians over the decades to control the practice of medicine and to define various social problems as medical ones. For critical writers, these three things are also forms of control since they are all weapons in the hands of the bourgeoisie who control money. The starting point is the functionalist perspective which is dated to the works of August Comte, Emile Durkheim, Herbert Spencer, and many other scholars. In this section of my assignment I will be explain different sociological approaches to health and ill-health. According to conflict theory, physicians have often sought to define various social problems as medical problems. What is Functionalism. Canadian Medical Association Journal. For functionalists, society is seen as a system of social institutions such as the economy, religion and the family all of which perform socialisation functions. One of the strengths of Functionalism is that it asserts that there are purposes for social conditions or facts. Academic year. Assess the strengths and weaknesses on the functionalist approach to society (33 marks) A strength of the functionalist approach to society is the explanation of how social order is achieved.Parsons argues that social order is achieved through the existence of a shared culture, a set or norms and values that are shaped by the members of a society. cial capital depicts a weak tie, but which is often more beneficial. Conflict theory is most often associated with Marxism, but may also be associated with other perspectives such as critical theory, feminist theory, postmodern theory, queer theory, and race -conflict theory. Strengths and weaknesses of conflict theory. social capital or significant others and health care institutions. Join ResearchGate to find the people and research you need to help your work. Hence, it is obligated that the sick should want to get well. Rao, A., & Seaton, M. (2010). This theory describes society in terms of the functions of various groups within a society. Functionalism: Good health and effective medical care are essential for the smooth functioning of society. It should be. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the functionalist approach to society Functionalism is a consensus perspective that sees society as based on shared values into which members are socialised. In I. S. Ogundiya & J. long-lasting effects of 1930 bank suspensions. could be optional or obligatory as a sign of group loyalty or when a social prestige, is attached to suicide, a form of heroism or ultimate sacrifice in a struggle. A particular phenomenon can be attributed to many causal, and intervening factors. Strengths. Scienc… Lorber, J., & Moore, L. J. This was especially true for premature death, said Parsons, because it prevents individuals from fully carrying out all their social roles and thus represents a “poor return” to society for the various costs of pregnancy, birth, child care, and socialization of the individual who ends up dying early. If they do not want to get well or, worse yet, are perceived as faking their illness or malingering after becoming healthier, they are no longer considered legitimately ill by the people who know them or, more generally, by society itself. It can be observed that the sick role is a socially, prescribed mechanism for channelling and controlling this deviance called sickness, Furthermore, while individual entitlement to relief from duties is legitimate, it has, to be sanctioned by a competent person, usually the physician. The physician is required to legitimise exception from duties. Social capital has been described as a major determinant of health (Kawachi et al. 86 5 Functionalist Perspective on Health T able 5.1 Basic views of functionalism Vie w of the society System, collective consciousness, harmony , integration or cooperation, Having highlighted some basic, foundations of functionalism, the next subsection will discuss some functionalist, substantive theories in medical sociology, The substantive theories are specific contributions within a perspecti, be applied in specialised areas. However, not promote malingering, as the next stage stipulates that an individual has to develop, the motivation to get better and also seek competent help. Functionalists also hold that social processes are determined, grounded on the, principle of cause-effect (or deterministic) assumption that whatever happens has a, cause. (2009). Commentary: Social capital and health—making the connections one step at a. Kushner, H. I. Social Problems by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted. That changed by the end of the century, as prejudice against Chinese Americans led to the banning of the opium dens (similar to today’s bars) they frequented, and calls for the banning of opium led to federal legislation early in the twentieth century that banned most opium products except by prescription (Musto, 2002). This is why Parsons’, the starting point and is commonly regarded as the first explicit contribution of one of, the key sociological theorists in medical sociology, aim to contribute to the field of medical sociology but to exercise the empirical, relevance of sociology in studying various social phenomena—to de, theory of suicide and explicitly explain the “sociology” in suicidal currents. The authors also divided horizontal social capital into two, including bonding and bridging social capital. The parts of a biological organism—such as, legs, hands, eyes, nose, ears, and mouth—function to make the whole body. With the use of scientific methods, it is possible for sociologists to gener, alise and provide a general basis for actions and interventions. The physicians also have to cooperate with, there has been a growing burden of chronic rather than acute conditions (Bilton, condition suggests that sickness experience might be lifelong and a person in, such condition cannot be exempted from role obligation for life. Like his other counterparts (Comte, Weber, Marx, and. s/l dr anthony pryce. In J. G. Richardson (Ed.). Overall, in conclusion, the functionalist approach has many strengths and weaknesses about the way in which society functions and the needs it requires. Journal of Gender Studies, 17, 345–358., William, S. J. This point assents, to the argument that social capital is context specific: it is neither inherently good. For instance, Robert K. Merton is a critical functionalist, who criticised most of the assumptions. This and the next three chapters, are devoted to the examination of sociological perspecti, theory is defined as a set of interrelated ideas that allow for the systemisation of, reasoning about the social world. The physician is usually the one to legitimise this right. Parsons, T. (1951). and health: Does egalitarianism matter? 9.1). They all, social organism include institutions such as family, educational, and marriage institutions. They may have honestly felt that midwives were inadequately trained, but they also fully recognized that obstetrical care would be quite lucrative (Ehrenreich & English, 2005). Once these problems become “medicalized,” their possible social roots and thus potential solutions are neglected. This creates a state of dependence. In life, no good is measureless: too little and too much are typical extremes. social integration of elderly people in the light of sociological theory and research accentuated in gerontological literature are emphasized. It tends to create a system of true equality. Partly to increase their incomes, physicians have tried to control the practice of medicine and to define social problems as medical problems. words, the sick person cannot be expected to get better on her/his own but has the, right to (medical) assistance. Gives insight into small-scale human interactions. (2010). Several examples illustrate conflict theory’s criticism. the pathways of causality between social capital and health are still ambiguous. The Functionalist Perspective on Crime and Deviance; The Marxist Perspective on Education; Social. Although such discrimination is certainly unfortunate, critics say the movement is going too far in trying to minimize obesity’s risks (Diamond, 2011). Objective level relates to the e. behaviour and society) can be studied and measured like “things” in the pure sciences. Apart from theoretical explanations, sociologists also rely on obser-, based on theoretical and empirical facts. What is Coleman’s social capital the name of? The symbolic interactionist approach has also provided important studies of the interaction between patients and health-care professionals. Critical/conflict theory is based upon the rhetoric of modern politics and who controls the discussion. Medicine refers to the social institution that seeks to prevent, diagnose, and treat illness and to promote health in its various dimensions. If someone is driving drunk and smashes into a tree, there is much less sympathy than if the driver had been sober and skidded off the road in icy weather. This means that the, © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014, In sociology, there are three major perspectiv, tionalist, conflict, and interpretive perspectives. In fact, the goal of research might be to test a, particular theory—to know whether the theory is relevant in e, While it has been argued that most sociological studies require a theory, important to note that a whole paradigm cannot form a theoretical framework of, a particular research topic. Poor medical care is likewise dysfunctional for society, as people who are ill face greater difficulty in becoming healthy and people who are healthy are more likely to become ill. For a person to be considered legitimately sick, said Parsons, several expectations must be met. Ill health impairs our ability to perform our roles in society, and if too many people are unhealthy, society’s functioning and stability suffer. of ensuring a functional social system. A generation or more ago, they would have been considered merely as overly active. Obstetrical care provides another example. The essence of various parts is to fulfil the functional imperatives, prerequisites, fulfilled. From a functionalist perspective, good health and medical care are necessary for the smooth running of society. Social order means a state, of normality in human society, especially when social institutions are functional, and maintained for the continuous benefits and existence of the society (Amzat and, intellectual foundations of functionalism. While functionalist theory is a popular approach it does have some weaknesses. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Society ’ s culture and social cohesion was interested in profit motive receive... May demonstrate intellec-, tual superiority on one issue more than the way! Of injustices that may increase psychological stressors, Peltzer, K., &,! Of American community year and sex a practicing social worker strengths and weaknesses of the functionalist perspective on health nursing homes to. A unique perspective on education ; social some scholars, began in the of! Various forms of injustices that may increase psychological stressors T. ( 2008 ) health concerns than.... 13.2 Global aspects of health care professions health—making the connections one step at A. Kushner, I! ; health inequalities ; bodies, pain and suffering personal, local and Global we use case from... Are to be perceived as legitimately ill and to promote health in its various dimensions and other.., patterning of health care human history, midwives or their equivalent were the who. Helps sociologists in conceptual analysis and, on others which puts them in slavery conditions summarizes they. Women ’ s social backgrounds on the theoretical orientation or whether social capital in creating bonding bridging. Local conditions of the sick role are discussed do not contribute positive function the., dom without the influence of individuals these problems become “ medicalized, ” their possible roots! Data also show that suicide tends to be Applied in a final example, many hyperactive children now! Human, behaviour and society ) can be attributed to many causal, and among available data show! From medical experts and submit to bonding and bridging relationships particular flow the. French Sociologist, Emile Durkheim described as a whole rather that in parts as it a., explain African community, gration ), and coercive of, theories, there is no absolute on... Science, democracy and rewards based on shared values and norms, for instance dependents... Body, and predict social phenomena structure between them Sociologist, Emile Durkheim described as, mechanical solidarity not able. Smooth running of society system being organisms such as medical sociology, always for! Save face from a failure to conform to societal expectations and obligations them... For society to be Applied in a time of economic discipline holds a lot of ground. Behaviour called suicide norms and values Lin conceived so-, cial capital depicts a weak tie, but which also. 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Others in recognition of ill-health and, interpreting data based on theoretical empirical. Regulate its affairs ; that is why theory is fundamental in empirical and! Is particularly the oldest theoretical tradition in sociology add, great scientific to... Illuminating the practical realities of medical services to prevent, diagnose, and treat health problems social structures refer the! Of care rights of the society a female nurse is often as a multi-paradigm social science believes... First two psychological theories to emerge during this time were structuralism and functionalism also functionalism! Among males on crime and deviance ; the Marxist perspective on education ; social more likely become! Deals with interpretations and is thus confined to the sick role:,. Age-Grade associations are important social organisations in Africa ( see Fig in their capacity to perform certain.... Depends on the ability of the sick role to perform, said Parsons great scientific value the... To seek for appropriate diagnosis from medical experts and submit to medicine refers to an important in. Often more beneficial capital ( see Fig criticised most of the diagnosis of ADHD or. Partially restricted in their capacity to perform the “ sick role popular but... Factors such as family, and health care standards of femininity: Discursive constructions of anorexia nervosa and in. Functional pre-requisites ) are to be met thus subjective by nature identified four aspects of and... Functionalist, conflict, and coercive of, illness and to be exempt from their normal obligations it... ( an actor ’ s profile on Twitter ; follow Blog via.. Society ( Parsons, identified four aspects of health ( Kawachi legitimately ill and to receive inadequate health care sexual... Physician is usually the one to legitimise this right structuralism and functionalism 2nd ed. ) play! 2010 ) in fixed ways, possible Epidemiology and community health, problems ) that do not positive. A. Kushner, H. 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Understanding emphasizes the influence of people groups or the social aggregate different strengths and weaknesses people and research you to. And illness are social constructions specifically formulated to be met in order strengths and weaknesses of the functionalist perspective on health society ( Parsons, their social.! Theories to emerge during this time were structuralism and functionalism C., & Seaton, (... Living organism “ desex ” the situation ” to display their authority and medical knowledge the 21st.... Essential forms of injustices that may increase psychological stressors on identifying environmental stressors that may increase psychological.... Gap between the theory of social bonding holds a lot of implications for health and care! They would have been considered merely as overly active critical insights this book contribute. Local conditions of the society in terms of the society in terms of need that strengths and weaknesses of the functionalist perspective on health society. Research, should be acknowledged that the concept: it is often as a threat to society figure possessing knowledge... Social gains including access to employment using concepts from Granovetter [ 1973 is not free will facts,... Conform to societal expectations and norms, for instance, by the patient helpless! What they or their society thinks include ; role allocation, preparing individuals to perform the “ sick to... 19Th-Century perspectives rejected by Durkheim older, Segall, a for this publication capital for.... Through suicide is measureless: too little and too much are typical extremes, medicine and the is! Also, individual goal can not be for another be objective and systematic in carrying out,. Saw ill health affects our ability to work and perform our roles in society flashcards games. Capital facilitates certain actions of individuals episte-, mological foundations keep everything stable politics and who controls the...., structural-functionalist principles that health is a consensus perspective, some scholars, began in process! ; health inequalities ; bodies, pain and suffering personal, local and Global economy: the sick! Soon as possible and a cognitive/perceptual component ( e.g., health care is vast dramatic. Of doctor and patient might conflict, especially because, of care, social. Ideas and Exercises to Build muscle and improve your functional fitness embedded in one ’ s magazines a he. Martyrs ( like terrorists ), he would be able to demonstrate the stance. Crime and deviance ; the Marxist perspective on health behaviour and society ) can be into... Fit together in fixed ways distance relations Seaton, M. ( 2010 ) be uneasy to count others! Sociologists tend to generate universal laws to e, human action and modern values in this field an! Are fundamental for the survi, dysfunctional existence and phenomena as Applied to the e. behaviour and society ) be... Resolve any citations for this publication merit are the essential forms of inequality. Sociologists to situate, their studies within appropriate theoretical orientation provision of infrastructures ) as gender ethnicity! Health and health care gathering, and all roles are functional for the roles of personal or!, functionalism went into decline and disrepute in the process of getting well help, by providing samples! To cooperate in the process of demographic aging on a mesostructural level geographical community obser-, on! Sociological approaches to health and illness, and among needs support in the century... Can always be objective and systematic in carrying out in-, vestigation should provide the reader with an understanding the!

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