Essay on Functionalism – The concept of ‘function’ has been further elaborated by some of the sociologists which ultimately led them to establish a “functionalist theory” as such.
This essay will compare two different sociological perspectives Marxism and Functionalism through society and sport, highlighting the benefits and problems. Both, Marxism and Functionalism are sets of ideas trying to provide an explanation for human society and how it operates (Coakley 2004). Marxism and Functionalism are both related to a structural view of sociology. That is according to Giddens (2001) observable patterns of behaviour within a society that shapes the individual. The structural view of society belongs to the macro perspective of sociology and therefore looks at the society as a whole within its large-scale principles like family, education, religion as well as a historical process of social life examining interdependent social institutions (Dunning, 1999) Marxism is an interpretation of the thoughts by Karl Marx (1813 - 1883) a German social theorist and political revolutionist, where the concept of 'class struggle' plays a pivotal role in society, and leads to the development of society, and the uprising of the proletariat (the working class) whom, Marx believed made the wealth of society, (Dunning, Maguire & Pearton, 1993) and the downfall of the bourgeoisie or capitalist (those who own the means of production' and therefore exploit the proletariat). Coakley (2004) says that in capitalist societies that are so well-established major changes can only be possible if the people without the economical power realised that there is a need for change. These ideologies can be applied to explain society's actions on sport, such as how the working class are being priced out of going to football matches because the bourgeoisie (chairman)