Anthropological Theories: functionalism| Anthropology crash course

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  • Published on:  Friday, April 8, 2022
  • Functionalism emerged in the early twentieth century as reaction to evolutional, diffusionist and historicist theories.
    According to functionalists Institutions such as religion, kinship and the economy were the organs and individuals were the cells in this social organism. The question of whether these institutions serve the interests of the society at large or the interests of the individual person divided the school of functionalism into two camps, each associated with a prominent figure in British anthropology. These two figures were A. R. Radcliffe-Brown and Bronislaw Malinowski.
    1. Malinowski’s biocultural (or psychological) functionalism;
    and
    2. structural-functionalism, the approach advanced by Radcliffe-Brown.




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