9780521031394

Dynamic Functionalism: Strategy and Tactics

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780521031394

  • ISBN10:

    0521031397

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-11-02
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Summary

Over the last several decades, functional theory in the social sciences has fallen into disfavour. Alleged to be a static form of theory incapable of explaining social change, methodologically impotent and ideologically tainted, functionalism stands accused of being socially and politically reactionary. In this book, Michael Faia challenges the view that functionalism should be rejected. He claims that because functional theories are causal, multivariate, time-ordered, and characterized by reciprocal causation, they are in fact inherently dynamic, demand the highest methodological rigour, and also force sociology to transcend its infamous 'paradigm disputes' by recognizing that the social sciences have already achieved an 'integrated methodological paradigm'. The central arguments of the book are illustrated by a wide variety of examples drawn from several academic disciplines. These range from the incest taboo to witchcraft, from tenure in the US Congress to duration of marriage. The reader thus gains a strong appreciation of the wide applicability of the functionalist mode of explanation.

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables
Preface
Allegations, Definitions, and Illustrations
A kindly critique of
The incest taboo: social selection as a form of feedback
Exemplary exercises in survivorship
The nature, determinants, and consequences of time-series processes
Adaptive Structures and Social Processes
Patterns of Adaptation
Processes, Simulations, and Investigations
L'envoi
Toward an integrated social science paradigm
Appendix
Notes
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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