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Functionalism Revisited: A practice based Functionalism
Unformatted Document Text:  Functionalism Revisited 21 otherwise” when he explains the possibility of changes of regular patterns in social system (*a in Figure 2). Although this is a way of emphasizing his argument on the active process of structuration and especially (re)discovery of human agent (Anderson, 1996), it is also an acknowledgment that regular patterns of social life are essential. His explanation about ontological security shows that such regularity is an essential feature of any kind of sustained social world. Ontological security refers to what an ordinary individual feels about his or her interactions with others. According to Giddens, one should be competent when she interacts with others; and such ability is acquired through her lifetime experiences of ordinary life. I . . . saw fast changes taking places, and not only in behavior but also personality; incredibly faster and often much more radical changes than any that were possible by psychoanalytic treatment (Bettelheim, cited in Giddens, 1984, p.61). Describing the experiences of Bettelheim and others in Dachau and Buchenwald camps, Giddens shows how individuals radically change in the absence of ontological security. People in the camps had feelings of frustration and deprivation because they were not in an ordinary life situation. However, Giddens also emphasizes that feelings of anger and conflicts due to such an unusual period can be eventually overcome (1979). The disruption and the deliberately sustained attack upon the ordinary routines of life produce a high degree of anxiety, a 'stripping away' of the socialized responses associated with the security of the management of the body and a predictable framework of social life . . . . But eventually, in most of the old prisoners at least, a process of 're-socialization' takes place in which an attitude of trust . . . is re-established (1984, p.63). Giddens describes this characteristic of an individual as “deep-lying modes of tension management out of a tendency of reducing and controlling anxiety“ and argues that such tendency is established during one’s first years of life in an unconscious manner (Giddens, 1979, p.219). Berger and Luckmann (1966) also argue that humans encounter new situations which they are not familiar with and overcome the situation through making routines of daily life for the new situation. If such persistent observations of regularity and system integration in social life are acknowledged, Giddens argument seems to regress toward the stable features of social system unless we constantly remind ourselves about how such systems are reproduced – i.e., it is only achieved through interactions and individual’s knowledgeability.

Authors: Kim, Hyo.
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Functionalism Revisited 21
otherwise” when he explains the possibility of changes of regular patterns in social system (*a in Figure
2).
Although this is a way of emphasizing his argument on the active process of structuration and
especially (re)discovery of human agent (Anderson, 1996), it is also an acknowledgment that regular
patterns of social life are essential. His explanation about ontological security shows that such regularity
is an essential feature of any kind of sustained social world. Ontological security refers to what an
ordinary individual feels about his or her interactions with others. According to Giddens, one should be
competent when she interacts with others; and such ability is acquired through her lifetime experiences
of ordinary life.
I . . . saw fast changes taking places, and not only in behavior but also personality; incredibly faster
and often much more radical changes than any that were possible by psychoanalytic treatment
(Bettelheim, cited in Giddens, 1984, p.61).
Describing the experiences of Bettelheim and others in Dachau and Buchenwald camps, Giddens
shows how individuals radically change in the absence of ontological security. People in the camps had
feelings of frustration and deprivation because they were not in an ordinary life situation. However,
Giddens also emphasizes that feelings of anger and conflicts due to such an unusual period can be
eventually overcome (1979).
The disruption and the deliberately sustained attack upon the ordinary routines of life produce a
high degree of anxiety, a 'stripping away' of the socialized responses associated with the security of
the management of the body and a predictable framework of social life . . . . But eventually, in
most of the old prisoners at least, a process of 're-socialization' takes place in which an attitude of
trust . . . is re-established (1984, p.63).
Giddens describes this characteristic of an individual as “deep-lying modes of tension management
out of a tendency of reducing and controlling anxiety“ and argues that such tendency is established
during one’s first years of life in an unconscious manner (Giddens, 1979, p.219). Berger and Luckmann
(1966) also argue that humans encounter new situations which they are not familiar with and overcome
the situation through making routines of daily life for the new situation.
If such persistent observations of regularity and system integration in social life are acknowledged,
Giddens argument seems to regress toward the stable features of social system unless we constantly
remind ourselves about how such systems are reproduced – i.e., it is only achieved through interactions
and individual’s knowledgeability.


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