Glendale Community College Merton Functions Discussion

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OBSERVATION #1

Merton’s Functions

Robert Merton, a functionalist, generated a theory about social interaction that has been quite useful in understanding relatively stable patterns within society. Merton saw all social interaction as serving a function, both a manifest function (recognized and intended consequence), and a latent function (unrecognized and unintended consequence). In addition, interactions could serve a social dysfunction – any social pattern that may disrupt the operation of society.

Please provide a description of 2 social interactions in which YOU participated, noting the manifest, latent and, if applicable, a dysfunction associated with it. I have provided an example below of the basic elements – your observation should include some reflection:

Social Interaction

Going to the “Club.”

Manifest function

Go out for entertainment. I expect to have fun, meet people and dance.

Latent function

Reinforces gender roles. By going to the club we learn what is “normal” in terms of how to act. Men are “supposed to be” more aggressive and women more submissive. These gender roles are constructed by society and while we all do not accept them, I learn them here in the Club. This interaction also causes solidarity or social cohesiveness – the feeling of belonging. When we go out we often speak with our friends about what is appropriate to wear, how to act and we feel like a “we” as opposed to just “me”.

Dysfunction

Men are expected to pay for drinks. This creates an interaction that could harm society as men who are poor may be made to feel less “manly”. And men who have money may feel as though having money makes them a “man”. This can harm society as it sets up a culture where having money determines our romantic interactions instead of who we are as people.

You may not use my examples or use gender roles as our function.

Your observation should be written out as above; include each header (manifest, latent and dysfunction). Please use sociological terms and concepts in your analysis. You may not use my examples or gender roles in your analysis. This should take NO LONGER than 2 pages (if you double space). I cannot open “cloud” submissions — please convert your assignment to a doc, docx, pdf file and upload it.

Grading Observation Rubric

Grading Observation Rubric

Criteria Ratings Pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAnalyzed 2 social interactionsAnalyze 2 interactions using Merton’s theory of functions.

11 pts

Full Marks

0 pts

No Marks

11 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeDemonstrate the ability to apply Merton’s funtions to the analysisMust demonstrate understanding of manifest, latent and dysfunction of a social interaction.

11 pts

Full Marks

0 pts

No Marks

11 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeOrganization, Grammar and SyntaxEssay must follow writing conventions (proper grammar, syntax, organization).

3 pts

Full Marks

0 pts

No Marks

3 pts

Total Points: 25

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