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Functionalist Perspective of the ways men and women succeed Essay

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Haley Donaldson, Functionalist Perspective, December 13, 2011 The Ways Men and Women Succeed: Functionalist Perspective

We all have this idea of what a man should and shouldn’t be. The same goes for women. When it comes to success, there are new approaches being taken because of institutions within our society that simply make the intended function of things to become less functional. Women, in particular, have broken the traditional functions that we have (or institutions we have) when it comes to success. Now, “success” can be defined as being a good parent or being financially stable and “tradition” can be defined as dual parent homes where the man “brings home the bacon”, and the women stay home and maintain the home, take care of children, or both. “Confronted with so many obstacles, young women and men are preparing for less ideal circumstances by pursuing fallback strategies that offer some insurance against their worst fears.” Basically, women and men are rising to a new challenge head-on, and exceeding all expectations that our society labels traditional intended functions of the home and work life divided among women and men, in order to gain success.

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This is an unintended (latent) function of our society among young men and women. It is functional because we, as “young people of society”, are actually managing to succeed in family and finances, even though the traditional roles of each sex are changing. Another thing that is being recognized as latent function of society is the amount of responsibility women are taking on. This seems to be very functional among many different types of households. Functional? Yes. Equally as stressful? Yes, also. “…self-reliant young women seek autonomy by combing support from kin ad friends with financial base of their own… it appears to be the safest and most responsible way to prepare for the uncertain future” (Gerson 744). By “uncertain future” the article refers to women not knowing, practically fearing a single life. Our society has functions, dysfunctions, latent functions, and latent dysfunctions. They each play parts that make up society. This article views the functions and latent functions of success among men and women and also briefly explains the ways women and men are/have changed the idea of a traditional ways things are being/have been done.

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