Exam III : functionalism and conflict theories

People (dates, "geography," school of thought, major works, major concepts)

Example: Max Weber was a German sociologist who lived from 1860s to 1920. Trained in law, history, economics, his work influenced both conflict theory and social interactionist theories. A social theorist whose work is often referenced outside of sociology. Major works include Protestant Ethic, Economy and Society, "Politics as a Vocation," "Science as a Vocation," "Class, Status, and Party," and "Bases of Legitimate Domination." Among many concepts are ideal type, bureaucracy, legitimacy, Protestant ethic.

  1. Parsons
  2. Merton
  3. Habermas
  4. Mills
  5. Adorno
  6. Horkheimer
  7. Malinowski
  8. Radcliffe-Brown


Example: Frankfurt School founded in early 1920s. Moved to NYC to escape Nazism in early 30s. Reestablished in Germany post-war. Well-known early FS writings in 30s (Horkheimer, Adorno, Benjamin), later writings in 60s (e.g., Habermas, Marcuse). Near synonym "critical theory" — FS theorists "updated" Marx by bringing in Freud and turning attention to culture and ideology.

  1. When was Frankfurt School founded? When did it operate?
  2. When did Parsons come on the scene? When did he die?
  3. When did Merton come on the scene? When did he die?
  4. Where to Adorno, Horkheimer, and Habermas fit in the timeline of the Frankfurt school?
  5. When was the Russian revolution? The great depression? World War II? Atomic bomb? Hydrogen bomb? Cold War?


  1. four "branches" of conflict/critical theory
  2. four elements of historical context in emergence of conflict/critical theories
  3. three functions of conflict for groups/relationships according to Simmel
  4. Malinowski's three levels of needs
  5. Four components of Merton's deviance theory
  6. Four elements of Parsons's functionalist system scheme


  1. gist of Horkheimer/Adorno "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception"
  2. gist of Habermas "Social Analysis and Communicative Competence"
  3. gist of Habermas "Emancipatory Knowledge" (1968)
  4. gist of Mills, C. Wright. 1959. "The Sociological Imagination" (355-358)
  5. gist of Lemert's "The Golden Moment 1945-1963"
  6. gist of "Conflict Theory" by RANDALL COLLINS. Encyclopedia of Sociology. Vol. 1. 2nd ed. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2001. p414-417.

Concepts & Terns

  1. "the culture industry"
  2. The Structure of Social Action
  3. The Social System
  4. AGIL paradigm
  5. challenge to leftists in 1920s/1930s
  6. conflict/critical
  7. consequence
  8. criticism: functional for whom
  9. cultural Marxism
  10. Dialectic of Enlightenment
  11. dysfunction
  12. feedback
  13. Frankfurt School
  14. function
  15. Functional alternatives
  16. functional requisite
  17. functionalism
  18. Goffman as conflict theorist
  19. grand theory
  20. ideal speech situation
  21. latent function
  22. latent/manifest function
  23. manifest function
  24. Merton's theory/typology of deviance
  25. new left/old left
  26. new social movements
  27. Positivist, realist, and wholist in orientation
  28. public sphere
  29. "The Sociological Imagination"
  30. Simmel as conflict theorist
  31. study society as a whole
  32. theories of the middle range
  33. unanticipated consequences
  34. Unified Theory
  35. Weber as conflict theorist
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