Encyclopedia > Social function

  Article Content


Redirected from Social function

In social theory

In social theory, functionalism is an approach in social theory that explains behaviors and institutions in terms of their role in fulfilling various needs. Early functionalists saw such needs as individual and biological or psychological, later functionalists saw such needs as social and collective. Alternative approaches include structuralism and historical materialism, although some scholars have identified examples of functionalism within these competing approaches, and other scholars have actively sought to synthesize these different approaches.

Famous functionalists include:

Structural-functionalism is a view that society consists of parts (e.g. police, hospitals, schools, and farms), each of which has its own function. Structural-functionalism has been the dominant perspective of rural sociologists, although its dominance is waning.

See also: justified irresponsibility, cultural anthropology, sociology

In philosophy of mind

In philosophy of mind, functionalism is the idea that, although the mind has internal mental states, these can be accounted for without taking into account the underlying physical substrate, i.e. the neurons. Instead, one can speak of higher-level representations of functions such as beliefs, desires, and emotions. This position is rather popular today. Proponents of this position include Jerry Fodor[?].

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Reformed churches

... the Peace of Westphalia, in 1648, but political difficulties at the end of the 17th century almost eliminated them. In the 19th century, by state mandate the Reformed ...

This page was created in 37.7 ms