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2) From a Conflict perspective, provide a brief critique of Functionalism. What would a conflict theorist say about the functions of social inequality? Provide a specific concrete example.

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Asked by hho4 Saturday Sep 4th 2010 in Financial Aid
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Functionalists believe that in order for a society to work correctly all of the parts within the society must harmonize. Therefor some that follow the functionalist theory believe that social inequality is necessary for the function of society.

For example theorists following functionalism believe that having a poor segment in society is a necessity. Those that fall within this segment are used to do the hard labor and work that others donít want to do.

Conflict theory on the other hand, focuses more on competition between the all the segments of society. In this model, the upper class are often battling it out to keep their wealth and power. These followers believe that social inequality happens due to those in the unskilled labor market not having the same education or opportunities as those in the upper class. For example they believe that those living in poverty will have less of an education and then automatically fall into a job that is unskilled. However, if they were given the same opportunities as the rest of society they could have a higher paying and more prestigious career.

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