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Health and Social Challenging Behaviour

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Sociological perspectives

Sociological perspectives is a perspective on human behaviour and its connection to society as a whole. It invites us to look for the connections between the behaviour of individual people and the structures of the society in which they live. The structures are functionalism, Marxism, Feminist, Interactionism, Collectivism, Postmodernism and New right.

Functionalism is a perspective created by Emile Durkheim. He believed society was made up of inter-connected institutions for an example education, family and government which depended on each other to function.
Functionalists see society as being similar to the human body. In the same way the body relies on the heart to pump blood round to other vital organs like the lungs and brain. Functionalists see society as being constructed of different inter-dependent components like the family and education system.
So in the same way the human body would fail if the heart stopped, functionalists’ argue society would stop working properly if the family stopped functioning properly. Functionalists say this would happen because the family is an institution in which primary socialisation occurs. Primary socialisation is where younger members of a family are taught societies norms, values, roles and beliefs, By having the same values which we all share, a value consensus is establish. Therefore we can see the family has a function in the social system.

This perspective of society differed from other sociologists of his era as Durkheim's theories were founded on things external in nature, as opposed to those internal in nature, such as the motivations and desires of individuals. According to Durkheim, collective consciousness, values, and rules are critical to a functional society.

The functionalist perspective on the education system

Functionalists focus on the...

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