What does a functionalist consider when studying a phenomenon like the occupy wall street movement?
- The minute functions that every person at the protests plays in the whole
- The internal conflicts that play out within such a diverse and leaderless group
- How the movement contributes to the stability of society by offering the discontented a safe, controlled outlet for dissension
- The factions and divisions that form within the movement
Answer: c. How the movement contributes to the stability of society by offering the discontented a safe, controlled outlet for dissension
A functionalist perspective emphasizes the interdependence and equilibrium of social systems as a sociological concept. Functionalists would examine how a phenomenon like Occupy Wall Street contributes to social stability by providing a safe and controlled outlet for expressing discontent and dissension within society.
Why the other options are not correct
a. The minute functions that every person at the protests plays in the whole
While the functionalist perspective does consider the importance of various roles and functions within a social system, it would be more micro-level to examine the minute functions of individuals within the Occupy Wall Street movement. Rather than examining the specific roles of individuals within a particular movement, functionalism examines the overall contributions of social phenomena to society’s stability.
b. The internal conflicts that play out within such a diverse and leaderless group
The conflict perspective, which emphasizes social inequality and power struggles between different groups, aligns better with studying internal conflicts within the Occupy Wall Street movement. Despite the fact that functionalists acknowledge that conflicts exist within society, their primary concern is how social phenomena contribute to its stability and cohesion. Thus, a functionalist analysis would not primarily focus on internal conflicts.
d. The factions and divisions that form within the movement
The conflict perspective is more appropriate to analyze the factions and divisions within the Occupy Wall Street movement than option (b). As mentioned earlier, functionalism emphasizes the positive contributions of social phenomena to society’s stability and maintenance. In spite of its internal divisions, functionalists would be more interested in how the movement provides an outlet for discontent and promotes social stability despite its internal divisions.
According to the functionalist perspective, social phenomena, such as the Occupy Wall Street movement, contribute to society’s stability by providing a safe, controlled outlet for dissension. The movement contributes to society’s stability and cohesion by offering the discontent a safe, controlled outlet for dissension.
Functionalists would be interested in understanding how the movement contributes to social stability by addressing grievances and providing an outlet for social tension by providing a platform for expressing discontent and dissent in a controlled manner. Functionalists provide valuable insights into how societies maintain equilibrium and order despite a variety of challenges and movements by emphasizing the positive functions of social phenomena.