Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Some ideas of Radcliffe-Brown on Social Anthropology

According to Prof Radcliffe-Brown the concept of function applied to human societies is based on an analogy between social life and organic life.Following Durkheim he defines the function of social institution as the correspondence between the social institution and the necessary conditions of existence of the social organism.He says"the contributions which a partial activity makes to the total activity of which it is a part.The functions of a particular social usage is the contribution it makes to the total social life as the functioning of the total social system."

Institutions are thus thought of as functioning within a social structure consisting of individual human beings connected by a definite set of social relations into an integrated whole.The continuity of the structure is maintained by the process of social life or the social life of a community is the functioning of its structure.So conceived of a social system has a functional unity.

Radcliffe Brown when speaks of social integration he assumes that function of culture as a whole is to unite individual human  beings into more or less stable social structures ie stable systems of groups determining and regulating the relation of those individuals to one another and providing such external adaptation to the physical environment and such internal adaptation between the component individual or groups as to make possible  an ordered social life.

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