But if the agencies have in mind the idea of changing the existing structure, they can do otherwise. This is called manifest interest articulation. From the structural-functionalism we come to know about the operational process of the political system. The core idea of Almond’s structural functionalism is how the structures of the political system function and how (through the functions and other ways) adjusts with other systems as well as with the environment surrounding it. Political socialisation and recruitment. Functionalists seek consensus and order in society. In both democratic and authoritarian systems the multifunctional character of structure is found. These are the four main characteristics of all the political systems and by finding out the characteristics Almond has made attempt to generalise the political systems. It is unlikely that any one theoretical approach will so dominate sociological theory again”. If the political system adjusts (or adapts) itself with the new challenges emanating from the environment, then that means that the political system has succeeded is adapting with the outer conditions which we call the environment. Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) is treated as “an inheritor of a long French tradition of social thought”. Various demands and claims are to be aggregated into a consolidated form and after that the political system takes action. 3. But he has changed the nomenclature. Durkheim elaborately analysed the basic structure of society, their various parts, different social systems and he did this in an organismic outlook. As society gradually develops the process of socialisation also proceeds. We Need A Fusion Of Christian Principles And Political Activism. THE STRUCTURAL-FUNCTIONAL APPROACH The structural-functional approach is derived from earlier uses of functionalism and systems models in anthropology, sociology, biology, and political science. “Thus” Almond asserts, “capabilities analysis is the method by which the empirical investigation of political system is undertaken. Radcliffe-Brown (1881-1955) believed that the concept of function applied to human society is based on an analogy between social life and organic life. Naturally, the political system will gradually adjust itself with the challenges. Such democratic systems prevail in Japan, Israel, and Turkey etc. That is, in this approach the political scientists want to stress the specific purposes of studying and investigating politics. Almond’s system analysis also throws light on the stability and, along with it, the balance or equilibrium. The industrialised matured societies of the West have complex political structures where as the developing countries of the Third World have simple structures. In all these forms, interest articulation takes place. Adaptation involves the problem of securing from the environment sufficient facilities and then distributing these facilities throughout the system. Before publishing your Essay on this site, please read the following pages: 1. Interest aggregation is the third function of the political system. 2. In his opinion the term state is mainly a legal concept. All political systems are mixed systems in the cultural sense. In the opinion of Almond: “The performance of the interest articulation function may be manifest or latent, specific or diffuse, general or particular, instrumental or affective in style”. Also, army has a tremendous influence in the administration of state. He says that though there are differences between developed and developing countries so far as structures are concerned, the structures perform almost similar functions. Structure means institutions. Structural functional approach was further developed by Gabriel Almond and Powell in Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach. He also prefers role to office. 5. In such types of political systems emphasis on economic development is laid. Structural-functionalism draws its inspiration primarily from the ideas of Emile Durkheim.Sociological theories of aging consider the context in which aging occurs. “That all systems have structures which can be identified and that the parts or elements of these structures perform functions within the system which have meaning only in terms of the working of the system. Almond’s specification of interest articulation and interest aggregation does not always work in all systems. Content Guidelines 2. In spite of all these criticisms one might say that Almond’s model (structural functionalism) is the most suitable one for comparative analyses and we come to know from his writings that he modelled this aiming at a comparative analysis. In structural functionalism the structures of the political system (such as political parties, interest groups, legislatures, executives, bureaucracies and courts) are not clearly defined and properly patterned and yet inspite of this their importance is immense. It reflects an underlying drift towards a new and coherent way of thinking about and studying politics that is implied in such slogans as behavioural approach…… We are not simply adding terms to an old vocabulary, but rather are in the process of developing or adapting a new one”. The conversion takes place through feedback. Macrosociology is concerned with the big picture in societies and how they are shaped. Functionalism, an approach to the formation of international organizations that advocates international cooperation on scientific, humanitarian, social, and economic issues.. Functional cooperation in the United Nations. The structural functional approach contains within it several inherent biases or normative implications. Hence we find that the stability, equilibrium, balance etc. In order to revolutionise the people’s thought and outlook the latent method is resorted to. He wants to revolutionise the system and study of political science. The values, thoughts, ideas, feelings of one system are influenced by those of other systems. Almond’s theory of political change denotes: “those transactions between political system and its environment that affect changes in general system performance”. The traditional political scientists did not deal with the concept of political change so elaborately. Structural functionalism became popular around 1960 when it became clear that ways of studying U.S. and European politics were not useful in studying It is true that the main purpose of Almond and his supporters was to corner the advance of Marxism. For example, he has used “system” and “interactions” which have been borrowed from anthropology. In every political system, specifically pluralist political system, citizens claim the fulfilment of their demands or materialisation of interests. the governmental functions bear striking similarities. The characteristic feature of such democracies is there is the combination of the formal forms of democracy and the structural forms of democracy. But in authoritarian system of administration or in tribal society both the functions are performed by same person. Every political system has several institutions such as political party, legislature, executive, judiciary, etc. The change is inevitable because in an open system the political system cannot keep itself aloof from other systems. In structural functionalism the structures of the political system (such as political parties, interest groups, legislatures, executives, bureaucracies and courts) are not clearly defined and properly patterned and yet inspite of this their importance is immense. So, for the sake of stability of political system, it is really incumbent for it to take care of demands and to do something so that stability is not disturbed. Origin of Structural Functionalism Davies and Lewis within the ir noted work writes: “structural functional analysis are often said to possess originated in the biological and mechanical sciences. The concept function can conveniently be used. The functionalist approach excludes and refutes the idea of state power and political influence (realist approach) in interpreting the cause for such proliferation of international organizations during the inter-war (which was characterized by nation-state conflict) and the subsequent years. Moreover, -the emergence of the new state systems in the Third World encouraged Almond to devise a technique that will be helpful for comparison. Almond has pointed out four such agencies: Institutional interest groups generally consist of legislatures, executives, bureaucracies etc. In the same way the legislative wing of the government has been found to act like a court of law. Because this structural-functional approach designates universal components of political system without dictating what those structures should be or how they should function, the theory allows for analysis of various types of systems without ethnocentrism. In the concept structural functionalism the students must know both the structures and the functions. It … Structural functionalism 1 Structural functionalism Structural functionalism, or in many contexts simply functionalism, is a broad perspective in sociology and anthropology which sets out to interpret society as a structure with interrelated parts. Ordinary people had no access to power and authority. This is a very common picture of every political system. Naturally, without communication the political system will not be in a position to discharge any function. Top-ranking army officers and bureaucrats control the administration. This broad group can again be subdivided into philosophical, ideological, institutional and structural approaches. For that reason the issue of interest aggregation arises. There are also stages in the process of assimilation. In that situation political socialisation fails to assume a clear shape. World’s Largest Collection of Essays! Structural-functional approach is a holistic perspective which studies society or system as a whole and with a view to its maintenance. They believed that the capitalist system possesses certain self-regulatory mechanisms by which can defend itself. For the purpose of comparative analysis the frequency of the performance can be studied. What is structure? All sorts of interests are articulated through communication and, again, they are aggregated by means of communication. The chief objective of Almond was to make a comparative study of the major political systems and for that purpose what he has done ultimately became the foundation of general systems theory/analysis. Particularly the bureaucracy in various ways creates pressure upon the authority for the fulfilment of their demands and the authority is forced to act accordingly. Key Terms structural functionalism : A sociological approach that looks at society through a macro-level orientation, which is a broad focus on the social structures that shape society as a whole. The entire state administration is controlled by ruling elite, top bureaucrats, party bosses and leaders. We must take note of it. Structural-functionalism emphasized the formal ordering of parts and their functional interrelations as contributing to the maintenance needs of a structured social system. The common forms of political system found in the Third World states are tutelary democracy, modernising oligarchy and traditional oligarchy. When the transmission of values, ideas, thoughts, feelings etc takes place in a direct way, it may be called manifest socialisation. The presence of non-associational interest groups is very common in developing societies because of the great attachment of people to religion, kinship, caste etc. Here the word structure is used in a sense different from sociological sense. But it is unfortunate that he has not drawn our attention to these factors. These are the functional requirements of the system. If any external force threatens the political system the citizens, on their part, can resist it and socialisation makes it possible. Many agencies are involved in this function. When the boundaries of political systems are not clearly demarcated the differences among the different cultures are found to be insignificant. Totalitarian oligarchic systems are found in some countries. The demands may be of general type such as poor people should be given more financial relief and rich people ought to be taxed more. He has also admitted that there may be minor variations in some of the characteristics but the main theme remains unaltered. Davies and Lewis are of the view that “the Structural-Functional analysis is a form of systemic analysis which looks at political systems as coherent wholes which influence and are, in turn influenced by their environments.”, Each political system is characterised by ‘legitimate force’ which is the basis of all its activities. In the words of Harry Eckstein, “We tend no longer to think of political systems solely as sovereign states and their formal sub-divisions but as any ‘collective decision-making structures’, or as structures for authoritatively collecting social values or as structures that perform the function of ‘maintaining the integration of society or as structures that perform the functions of the integration and adaptation of societies by means of the employment, or threat of employment’, of more or less physical compulsion, and in many other ways in a similar vein.”. The structural-functional approach may be considered as an offshoot of the system analysis. Hence the ambiguity overcasts the definition of Almond. So it tries to accommodate itself with the new situation. There are many actors in the social system and how they play their role that requires to be ascertained. This approach was developed by the celebrated anthropologist Malinowski and Radcliff Brown. It has been found that these groups or subgroups fight together against the authority and on political consideration the authority of the political system is forced to comply with their demands. Almond’s model is popularly known to the students of political science as structural functionalism. For the purposes of comparison Gabriel Almond has divided the functions of political system into two broad categories—Input functions and output functions. In fact, these persons fully control the state administration in the name of the king. 2. Functionalists see active social change, such as the sit-in on Wall Street, as undesirable because it forces change and, as a result, undesirable things that might have to be compensated for. Published by Experts, Minute Books are statutory books, and are of three types, Importance of Understanding the Psychology of Your Audience for Effective Communication, 5 Different Ways of Balance of Payments in International Transactions, Structure of R.K. Narayan’s Novel “The Bachelor of Arts”, 5 Key Features of Easton’s Input-Output Model of Political System, Essay on Leadership: Introduction, Functions, Types, Features and Importance. Society, according to Durkheim, is to be viewed as an entity. In liberal democracies such as United States, Britain, France, Canada etc. Latency implies two related problems—one is pattern maintenance and the other is tension management. It is also socialisation. So he wants to adopt such terms as will enable him to analyse and compare all (or at least major) political systems. and G. Bingham Powell, Jr., in their Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach of 1966. The three governmental functions are not clearly defined which exists in political democracies. In almost all political systems riots or militant demonstrations frequently erupt and these are led by men who want to snatch away few privileges from the political system. Naturally a general policy is formulated which covers all demands and claims. The success of the input functions of the political system to a large extent, depends upon the efficient and independent network of communication. The political system cannot take separate steps or adopt measures for each set of demands and claims. Parsons has pointed out four important prerequisites of structural functionalism and these we can treat as the main functions of structural functionalism. 4. In fact there are a number of political scientists who are actively associated with general systems theory and one of them is Gabriel Almond who died in 2003 at the age of 91. The objective of both political socialisation and recruitment is to ensure the stability of the political system. Functionalists argue that mutual trust and habits of cooperation between governments are more likely to develop through the sharing of discrete public-sector … It would have been better if he had clarified his stand. All the organisations must have freedom to articulate interests, these, after being aggregated, must be communicated to the relevant authority. recruit persons and train them to perform specific functions. There may be differences between the systems and structures but all the systems perform almost same political functions. Elaborating his intention Almond has said: “the search for new concepts is not an ad hoc matter. Here capabilities indicate the ability of the political system to receive the demands and claims (which are called inputs) and to act accordingly (which means to implement them). In such democracies the legislature and judiciary are not allowed to enjoy full autonomy and authority. It links the deductive analysis with the reality”. The members of the non-associational groups complain about their non-delegation to the legislature, or the non-fulfilment of their legitimate demands. The result is that the structural functionalism of Almond has received new dimensions in this age of globalisation. Structural functional approach: According to this approach, the society is a single inter-related system where each part of the system has a definite and distinct role to play. One category is political democracy. First, it is by its very nature conservative: it recognizes that … But the conversion depends upon the capabilities of the political system. Turner writes: “At each of these levels one can discern basic needs or survival requisites that must be met if biological health, social structural integrity and cultural unity are to exist. These approaches accentuate the structures and functions. In the fields of sociology and structural functionalism the contribution of Parsons is still gratefully remembered by the students of sociology and political science. But at the same time the British culture and society could not keep itself away from Indian culture. The government has very little part to play in the input functions. Man is by nature a social animal. 3 Almond, “Introduction,” p. . We cannot form a definite reply. This assessment of Turner about Parsons is not without any reason. In every political system there must exist a network of elaborate communication system and it must have enough autonomy to work independently. The articulation of interest by such groups is quite prominent in all political systems. We are, however, of opinion that Almond uses the term independent in general sense. Both latent and manifest socialisation work simultaneously in any political system and both are important. Some critics object to the use of terms borrowed from other disciplines but only this method has enhanced the acceptability and reliability of political science. The credit for popularising this approach goes to Gabriel Almond and his colleagues. In this, they came out with the Structural-Functional Approach designed to study and classify political systems in terms of the levels of their political development. In every system there arises tension and conflict and all these should be managed. The second is, the student will be able to assess the various aspects of the political system. But the import of the two terms in political system is unlikely to be same and the entire analysis appears to be confused. The culture of any political system is the mixture of modern and traditional cultures. (2) Numerous social groups and organisations which are active in the society and the environment. Now critics say that what is exactly meant by “independent” is not clear from Almond’s definition. Almost all the countries of this world have come closer and no state can claim that it is outside the influence of other states. Goal attainment denotes the problems of establishing priorities among system goals and mobilising system resources for their attainment. Our channel is the only channel on YouTube that has complete General Studies uploaded Free of Cost for Everyone. Fails to lay down Priorities of Functions: While suggesting the study of functions, it fails to specify … These approaches accentuate the structures and functions. Thus adaptation and change are linked. In the light of this we can say that Almond’s theory has special significance. But there is a big gap between the raising of demands and their realisation. This change may be qualitative or quantitative. “Thus it is essential in characterising a political system to analyse the performance of the communication function. Question: The Structural-functional Approach Suggests That: A. Accordingly, this analysis regards comprehensiveness, interdependence and boundaries as the three properties of the political system.”, The Structural-functional approach revolves mainly around two concepts: Structure and Functions. In his noted work The Politics of the Developing Areas Almond has drawn our attention to an interesting issue. But Easton is not the only political scientist who can be credited with being associated with this model or concept. Latent political socialisation does not take place directly. The political, cultural, economic and other elements, today, can very easily create impact upon different states. The socialisation process is not very much prominent in the Third World states but the very existence can never be denied. The priests and relatives of king enjoyed power. But simultaneously it is also true that he has strengthened the foundation of liberalism. The other classification is based on the objective of study of political science. So far we have noted the three different functions of political system—political socialisation, interest articulation and interest aggregation. Such groups are formed by persons of the same religious, ethnic or family, community. How does the change take place? are specially coined terms to denote the nature and function of political system. The study of political systems came into its own with the adoption of a structural- functional approach. Numerous factors operate behind the interaction among the system. Welcome to Shareyouressays.com! Trade unions create pressure upon the industries or authority in support of their demands and if necessary launch agitation. Let us know the meaning of these two concepts which are central to this approach. These are adaptation, goal attainment, integration and latency. With the help of structural functionalism we can easily compare the different political systems. 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