As previously discussed, functionalist perspectives are based on the assumption that society is a stable, orderly system with interrelated parts that serve specific functions. Anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski (1922) suggested that culture helps people meet their biological needs (including food and procreation), instrumeutal needs (including law and education), and integrative needs (including religion and an). Societies in which people share a common language and core values are more likely to have consensus and harmony. How might functionalist analysts view popular culture? According to many functionalist theorists. popular culture serves a significant function in society in that it may be the “glue” that holds society together.
Regardless of race. class. sex. age. or other characteristics. many people are brought together (at least in spirit) to cheer teams competing in major sporting events such as the Super Bowl or the Olympic Games. Television and the Internet help integrate recent immigrants into the mainstream culture, whereas longerterm residents may become more homogenized as a result of seeing the same images and being exposed to the same beliefs and values. However, functionalists acknowledge that all societies have dysfunctions that produce a variety of so-. cietal problems. When a society contains numerous subcultures, discord results from a lack of consensus about core values. In fact .popular culture may undermine core cultural values ‘rather than reinforce them. For example, movies may glorify crime, rather than hard work. as ·the quickest way to get ahead. According to some analysts. excessive violence in music videos, films, and television programs may be harmful to children and young people. From this perspective. popular culture can be a factor in antisocial behavior as seemingly diverse as hate crimes and fatal shootings
in public schools.
A strength of the functionalist perspective on viticulture is its focus on the needs of society and the stability is essential for society’s continued survival. A shortcoming is its overemphasis on humor and cooperation. This approach also fails to fully account for factors embedded in the structure of society-c-such as class-based inequalities, racism, and sexism-that may contribute 10 conflict among people in the United States or to global strife