Social change disrupts the stable equilibrium of the society, but before long a new equilibrium is regained. For example, large Lilies were desired throughout most of history. Death rates were high, and large families helped to ensure some survivors. Especially in America, with a continent to fill, and with never enough hands to.do tile work, large families were functionally useful. They provided workers, companionship, and adage security and were good for both the individual and the society. Today, in a crowded world with a lower death rate, large families are no longer a blessing. In other words, large families have become by functional and threaten the welfare of the society, So a new equilibrium is approaching in which, instead of high death rates and high birth rates, we shall (hopefully) have low death rates and low birth rates.
Thus, a value or practice which is functional at one time or place may become dysfunctional-interfering with the smooth operation of society-at another time or place. If a particular social change promotes a inharmonious equilibrium, it is seen as Functional; if it disrupts the equilibrium, it is dysfunctional; if it has no offers, it is nonfunctional. In a democracy political parties are functional while bombings, as! assignations, and political terrorism are dysfunctional, and changes in political vocabulary or party insignia are nonfunctional Functionalists ask such quest IS “How does this value, practice instituter t.on help meet the needs of the society” “I low does it fit in with the other practices and institutions of the society?” “Would a proposed change make it more or less useful to the society?”