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Structural Functionalism: Merton's Analysis

Can you please help me understand the weaknesses of Merton's analysis of dysfunction (including latent and manifest functions)? Is there an alternative? Like integrative conflict theory?

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Dear Student,
Hi there and thank you for your trust. In this particular task, you are asking for assistance in understanding Merton's view on functionalism/dysfunctionalism. This is a bit of a complex concept but I will try and simplify it for you. You can also use the listed resources to further explore the topic. All the best!

AE 105878/Xenia Jones

Merton's Social Dysfunctions

To full understand what Merton means, we first need to understand his theory. For Merton, functionalism is all about a society running smoothly, in such a setting, every member of society has a role to fulfil and has a place in the social dynamics according to a structure that all members are aware of and live by. Thus, social problems arise when certain parts of society dysfunction - that is, if people do not fulfil their roles or if groups and social agencies are unable to function as they should (i.e. government, schools, families, churches). Society is a system, so like cogs in a wheel, if one breaks, it affects the rest. But somehow, society continues on ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of discussing Merton's functionalist theory to understand an analysis of dysfunction. An explanation of the problem is presented and based on this, a narrative is provided to help the student in completing the task. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.