Also known as jullctiollillis’!l and structural functionalism, functionalist perspectives are based on the assumption that society is a stable, orderly system. This stable system is characterized by societal consensus, whereby the majority of members share a common set of values. beliefs. and behavioral expectations. According to this perspective, a society is composed of interrelated parts. each of which serves a function and (ideally) contributes to the overall stability of the society. Societies develop social structures, or institutions, that persist because they play a part in helping society survive. These institutions include the family. education, government, religion, and the economy. If anything adverse happens to one of these institutions or parts. all other parts are affected and the system no longer functions properly. As Durkheim noted, rapid social change and a more specialized division of labor produce strains in society that lead to a breakdown in these traditional institutions and may result in social problems such as an increase in crime and suicide rates.