Structural-functionalism | Article about structural-functionalism by The Free Dictionary
- theoretical approaches in which societies are conceptualized as SOCIAL SYSTEMS, and particular features of SOCIAL STRUCTURES are explained in terms of their contribution to the maintenance of these systems, e.g. religious ritual explained in terms of the contribution it makes to social integration. As such, structural-functionalism can be seen as an alternative general term for FUNCTIONALISM. See also FUNCTION, FUNCTIONALIST) EXPLANATION.
- (more specifically) the particular form of functional analysis associated with Talcott PARSONS, often distinguished from ‘functionalism’ in general, as 'structural-functionalism’. Sometimes the work of the modern functionalist school in SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, including RADCLIFFE-BROWN and MALINOWSKI, is also referred to by this term.