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Question: Critically evaluate the contributions of functionalism to the study of society.

Answer: Functionalist theory is one of the major theoretical perspectives in sociology. It can be argued that the functionalist theory has made a significant contribution to the study of society. It originates from the work of Emile Durkheim who suggests that social order is possible and society remains stable due to the functioning of several institutions. Everything has a specific function in society and society will always function in harmony. The main institutions studied by functionalism are the family, the education system, religion and crime and deviance.
Murdock argues that the family performs four basic functions in all societies – sexual, reproductive, economic and educational. These four basic functions are essential for social life since without the sexual and reproductive functions there would be no members of society, without the economic function life would cease and without e...(short extract)

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  • Subject: Sociology
  • Course: Sociology
  • Level: A-Level
  • Year: Not applicable
  • Mark: Not available
  • Words: 2069
  • Date submitted: November 28, 2015
  • Date written: Not available
  • References: No
  • Document type: Essay*
  • Essay ID: 6916

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