4 Tutorials that teach Structural Functional Theory
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Structural Functional Theory

Structural Functional Theory

Author: Sadie Pendaz

This lesson will explain, define and discuss the key ideas and the basic components of structural functional theory and identify as a macro-level orientation. Social structure and social function will be defined. Emile Durkheim's work on suicide will be used as an example of structural-functionalism. Durkheim's development of the concept of social facts will also be discussed.

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Terms to Know
  • Emile Durkheim

    A pioneer of sociology famous for his studies of suicide and religion, and for the idea of "social facts."

  • Social Fact

    A phenomenon arising from collective consensus - i.e. our norms and values - that transcend the individual and exercise constraint.

  • Social Function

    An act that contributes to the maintenance of a structure.

  • Social Structure

    A repeated and routine-like pattern of social interaction or social behavior.

  • Structural-Functional Theory

    A theoretical approach that sees society as a complex and interconnected system whose individual parts work in concert to promote stability and harmony in the system as a whole.

  • ​Macro-level Orientation

    ​A zoomed out look at the social structures and institutions that shape society.

  • ​Suicide Study

    A groundbreaking and fascinating study that linked suicide to social causes like the degree of social integration and the strength of social ties.