Michael A. Faia's Dynamic Functionalism: Strategy and Tactics (American PDF

By Michael A. Faia

ISBN-10: 0521031397

ISBN-13: 9780521031394

Over the past a number of a long time, useful concept within the social sciences has fallen into disfavour. imagined to be a static type of idea incapable of explaining social switch, methodologically impotent and ideologically tainted, functionalism stands accused of being socially and politically reactionary. during this ebook, Michael Faia demanding situations the view that functionalism could be rejected. He claims that simply because practical theories are causal, multivariate, time-ordered, and characterised by way of reciprocal causation, they're actually inherently dynamic, call for the top methodological rigour, and likewise strength sociology to go beyond its notorious 'paradigm disputes' by way of spotting that the social sciences have already accomplished an 'integrated methodological paradigm'. The significant arguments of the booklet are illustrated through a wide selection of examples drawn from numerous educational disciplines. those variety from the incest taboo to witchcraft, from tenure within the US Congress to period of marriage. The reader hence earnings a powerful appreciation of the broad applicability of the functionalist mode of rationalization.

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Additional info for Dynamic Functionalism: Strategy and Tactics (American Sociological Association Rose Monographs)

Sample text

Methodological inhibitions Continuing his misdirected effort to show that functionalism is the common practice of virtually all social scientists, Davis (1959:769) argues that any form of analysis claiming to be nonfunctionalist is either worthless or outside the purview of sociology. Examining "that neglected concept, 'non-functional analysis,' " Davis says that this residual category seems, by implication, to include traits falling into one or the other of two classes: either they constitute some sort of reductionism and are therefore non-sociological in character, or they constitute some form of raw empiricism or sheer data manipulation and are therefore non-theoretical.

Other functionalist terms can be clarified with reference to the above cross-classification. If two or more structures are "functionally equivalent" in that they fulfill the same function, then each of the structures is a sufficient but not a necessary condition for the function and could be established as such either by the modus ponens or the modus tollens or both. Levy and Cancian (1968:32) use a stretched version of the modus ponens when they restate Kluckhohn's theory of witchcraft in syllogistic form: (1) If a society survives (A), then hostility is managed (B); (2) If hostility is managed (J5), then witchcraft (C) or a functional equivalent (D) is present; (3) The functional equivalents of witchcraft (D) are not present in Navaho society; (4) Navaho society has survived (A); Therefore, witchcraft is present in Navaho society (C).

In fact, Hage moves away from requisite analysis in the manner suggested by Chapter 1. Hage's analysis implies that the output of any social organization could become critically deficient, thereby threatening the continued existence of the organization (1972:164). 1 are formal taxonomies; yet, none seems to comply entirely with the standard criteria of sound classification. It is unclear, for instance, whether the categories of each scheme are intended to be exhaustive; it is even less certain that they are mutually exclusive.

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Dynamic Functionalism: Strategy and Tactics (American Sociological Association Rose Monographs) by Michael A. Faia


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