Answer to Question #205060 in Sociology for Shenice

Question #205060

According to functionalism, what are manifest and latent functions (define these concepts)? Give examples of a manifest and a latent function in schools (apply the concepts and use your own examples) (06)

Expert's answer

The manifest functions of an institution or a social system phenomena are the intended functions. It has unanticipated functions for latent functionalities which at the same time, a latent function is not designed deliberately, but has a good influence on society. Late roles may be unwanted, yet undesired implications or clearly defective institutions may be subject to hidden roles explaining their survival. In the functionalist view, for instance, crime seems to be difficult to explain; it seems to play a little part in sustaining societal stability. However, crime may have the hidden role of giving instances to show the limits of acceptable conduct and the function of these limits to sustain societal standards.


Latent fun of educational establishment include the formation of friendships between students enrolling in the same school, the provision of entertainment and opportunities to socialize via school dances, sporting events and talent shows; and, when they are hungry, feeding poor students with lunch (and sometimes with breakfast).

All of the manifest functions of education include the provision of an intellectual foundation, practical skills, socialization, social control and social placement.

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