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Word Count: 874
Functionalism is the sociological theory which holds that each part of society is necessary for the functioning of the social organism There are several elements in the functionalist paradigm which explain how society functions to maintain the social organism and keep it alive These elements or tenets of functionalism are cohesion integration solidarity and equilibrium These elements explain how society is divided into its different functional parts with each part dependent on the other and the amassed parts adding up to the structural whole of society According to Emile Durkheim there are two kinds of societies with one being simple and mechanic and the other being complex and organic Of course there isnt a fine line between the two categories there is a progression from one to the other As society becomes increasingly organic there is more differentiation between members of that society since not everyone can have the same role In mechanic societies there is a high solidarity among all members of that society they have the same beliefs religion and means of survival In organic societies there is a differentiation between different groups which function as subsets of the societal organism These subsets are the different organs and tissues of the societal organism According to Durkheim these subsets still hold some consciousness common to the whole societal organism otherwise these parts wouldnt be held together and certain factions would separate from others Cohesion is the tenet that maintains that a collective consciousness holds all of these subsets or organs together and in turn maintains these organs within the social organism In Durkheims book On The Division of Labor Durkheim explained that punishing heinous crimes such as murder invokes a certain cohesion among the members of the society Also events such as war function to demonstrate the cohesiveness and solidarity of society For example in World War II each person had common nationalistic sentiments which helped to cement soldiers as well
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