Mid Term

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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Mid-Term Essay One of the many tasks of sociologists is to explain why and how society acts the way it does and furthermore to be able to predict human behavior in various situations. One of the ways that sociologists explain and predict behaviors in a society is through the structure-functional theory. The structure-functional concept is, I believe, the best theory to explain behavior within a society. In this essay I will explain some of the ideas that this theory presents, provide examples of each of these ideas, then compare it to another theory that sociologists use as well known as the conflict theory. In addition, I will also explain why I consider the structure-functional theory to be the theory that best explains behaviors within society.

The first idea in the structure-functional theory states that society is like a system or an organism. This means that society has a certain order to it.

It works like a structure, rather than performing random acts. Each function affects everything else within the society. Everything in a system or organism is connected and has its boundaries. An example of this idea would be the way that society organizes things. There are many structures in a society like for example religious structures, economic, family structures, etc. By these structures we are able to observe how society has an orderly manner of running things. This makes society like an organism in the sense that we have certain systems that perform different functions and all of them are connected. If one of the functions no longer works then, unless some other system takes the place of that function, the organism no longer works.

An additional point in the structure-functional theory that I believe is important is the statement that certain functions must be fulfilled for the...