Thesis / Dissertation

The Concept of Functional Differentiation and the Logic of Comparative Functionalism: A Study in Sociological Theory

Mitchell James Taylor, John Rundell (ed.)

Published : 2020


The concept of functional differentiation is one of sociology’s oldest and most lasting analytic tools, having its roots at the very beginning of the modern discipline. Among both classical and contemporary scholars, one sees a pervasive belief that functional differentiation – broadly understood as the process by which functional distinctions emerge between social units, or as the degree to which social units diverge in their functional orientations – is an especially significant construct in the comparative study of social structure. Despite this prominence, the notion of functional differentiation is currently marred by significant ambiguity, with uncertainty surrounding its meaning, purp..

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