Functionalism

Chapter one, dives into the history of sociology from the 14th century to modern day, expressing the ideas and theories of society along the way. I was most captivated by the theory of Functionalism. The theory was developed by Hebert Spencer, an English philosopher, and biologist. He compared the human body to society, and in relation they have mandatory requirements to function.

In 1898 he Hebert Spencer stated that; the various organs of the body work together to keep the body functioning, the various parts of society work together to keep society functioning. Obvious society does not require a heart or liver, but social institutions instead. These institutions are to include but are not limited to government, education, family, healthcare, religion, and the economy. I am not a pre-med major by any means, so I cannot state the effect that kidney failure would have on a body, so I have made a much simpler comparison of my own. I have decent understanding of joints. If your knee(education) gave out, and it became nearly useless it would eventually lead to a shooting pain into your hip(workforce). The suffering from your hip(workforce) then would branch out and have a devastating effect on your back(economy). I think it interesting that you can start off with one flaw/fault in society and it can lead to negative secondary and tertiary effects; that at first glance you may not consider.

Hebert Spencers’ theory is no longer used for macro-level analysis by most modern day sociologist because it does not explain social change. However, today it is still used in some mid-level analysis that display little dysfunction.