manifest functions and latent functions

manifest functions and latent functions

the distinction between those functions of a social system which are intended and/or overtly recognized by the participants in that social system – manifest functions - and those functions which are hidden and remained unacknowledged by participants -latent functions. Merton's influential discussion of the distinction involves the raindances of the Hopi indians. These dances are intended to bring rain, but function to increase social integration. See also FUNCTIONALISM, UNANTICIPATED CONSEQUENCES AND UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES (OF SOCIAL ACTION).
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000