The Sociology Post
26th September 2019
Functionalism has had a bad press. It is routinely criticised for its conservative implications and for its misunderstanding of social processes. However, criticism is often based on a lack of understanding about what functionalism really is. Few critics actually read the key writings on the subject. Perhaps it is time to reassess functionalism and to consider whether it might have a lot to tell us about how societies operate.
Structures, Subjectivity, and Virtual Reality
30th March 2018
In an earlier posting I discussed the idea of the 'social mind' and the way in which such a collective consciousness' must be understood as dispersed to and contained in the minds of the individual members of a society. This provides us with a way of understanding social structures, seen by Durkheim as external and constraining factors in social life. In my work on social structure I showed that the institutions and relations that comprise a social structure must be seen as 'embodied structures', but I did not properly specify how such individual phenomena relate to collective structures.