What criticisms can be directed towards functionalist theory? Give an example of one criticism in relation to South African schools.
In the functionalist perspective, societies are viewed to function dependently, with various social institutions working together to maintain and reproduce societies. According to functionalist theories, institutions are created and persist because they play a role in promoting stability and integration. This concept has however been criticized for its failure to account for social change and individual agency and is considered to be conservatively biased. Moreover, it has been criticized for attributing human-like needs to society. Functionalists also argue that school have taken over some of the functions that were traditionally undertaken by family. The modern society relies on schools to teach about human sexuality as well as basic social skills that were initially addressed by the family.