Social Class Inequality: Functionalism

  • Created by: nelliott
  • Created on: 04-05-22 10:23
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  • Inequality: Functionalism
    • Parsons: Vale Consensus & Stratification
      • In all societies, some individuals are better at achieving and deserve rewards
      • In the Middle Ages, knights were highly rewarded because being a warrior was important
      • Most people agree that in modern industrial societies, entrepreneurs & executives deserve high rewards
        • They run businesses, creating wealth and jobs to contribute to the smooth running of society
    • Davis & Moore: Social Stratification
      • This has been a feature of all human society and is functionally necessary
      • The main function of this is to ensure effective role allocation
      • Social stratification does two things:
        • Allocates the right people to the most important roles, ensuring able people can fill high positions in society
        • Ensures people in these roles perform them to the highest standards
      • We can tell which positions are the most important by two factors:
        • Functional uniqueness: a position is functionally unique if only a small number of people can carry out the role
        • The degree of dependence of others: they must make decisions and give orders to employees
    • Tumin: a critique of Davis & Moore
      • Is it possible to determine the functional importance of a position?
      • Is there a consensus about rewards?


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