Meet the Perspectives: Functionalism (Part 1)
The following post forms part of an introductory theory unit for Sociology.
In many ways, functionalism can be seen as one of the first sociological perspectives, being traced back to a Frenchman by the name of Emile Durkheim (1858-1917). Durkheim was particularly interested in how social change occurred and, particularly the move from a pre-industrial society to a modern industrial one. He believed that any significant changes in society could make society unstable. In a pre-industrial society, where the division of labour was fairly similar amongst people there was a strong sense of collective conscious, which are the moral values that help bind people to society itself.