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Functionalism Revisited: A practice based Functionalism
Unformatted Document Text:  Functionalism Revisited 30 1979), the role of social science in intervening into peoples’ everyday life became important. 10 Further, disentangling the complex world of economics was more desirable than that of other areas. As seen in Hirsch, Stuart, and Friedman’s notion of difference between sociologists and economists and reasons of sociologists’ attempt to incorporate economists’ model: One answer [of sociologists’ following economists’ model] may be that it is the economic framework that has the larger impact on social policy. Government officials are truly taken by “clean models.” . . . “Having a clear argument” is often more important than being “right” (1987, p.333) It is this idea where functionalist and structuralist approaches are reasonably successful describing economic and organizational worlds. Articulated ideas on real world readily enter into the real world. Ghoshal and Insead’s (1996) criticize using TCA because it is grounded on unstable assumptions and logic, imposing an idea that organizational structure alone will affect outcome. However, reality seems to indicate that such “unstable” ideas are rather practiced by organizational managers and practitioners. This is not to say that ideas from the academia alone uni-directionally affect organizational practices. Rather, they are also derived from observations of social and economic practices that, again, have regularities and practiced by organizations and organizational individuals. What I attempt to argue is that the notion of regularities, which had been originally advocated as sui-generis, through the development of functionalism and structuralism, may be reused from a more mundane point of view. That is, if functionalism and structuralism acknowledge the importance of individuals’ social and economic actions (people make regularities), hence, incorporate the dual nature of social and economic world, understanding it would be more fruitful. 10 Giddens clearly sees, even though not explicitly develops, the idea of communication technology taking an important role in modern society. He puts: Since we now live in a world where electronic communication is taken for granted, it is worth emphasizing what is otherwise a self-evident feature of traditional societies (of all societies, in fact, up to a little over a century ago). . . . This is simply that all contacts between members of different communities or societies . . . involve contexts of co-presence (Giddens, 1979, p. 143). What is not developed here is that he does not link communication technology as a crucial factor for the double hermeneutics of social science.

Authors: Kim, Hyo.
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Functionalism Revisited 30
1979), the role of social science in intervening into peoples’ everyday life became important.
10
Further,
disentangling the complex world of economics was more desirable than that of other areas. As seen in
Hirsch, Stuart, and Friedman’s notion of difference between sociologists and economists and reasons of
sociologists’ attempt to incorporate economists’ model:
One answer [of sociologists’ following economists’ model] may be that it is the economic
framework that has the larger impact on social policy. Government officials are truly taken by
“clean models.” . . . “Having a clear argument” is often more important than being “right” (1987,
p.333)
It is this idea where functionalist and structuralist approaches are reasonably successful describing
economic and organizational worlds. Articulated ideas on real world readily enter into the real world.
Ghoshal and Insead’s (1996) criticize using TCA because it is grounded on unstable assumptions and
logic, imposing an idea that organizational structure alone will affect outcome. However, reality seems to
indicate that such “unstable” ideas are rather practiced by organizational managers and practitioners.
This is not to say that ideas from the academia alone uni-directionally affect organizational practices.
Rather, they are also derived from observations of social and economic practices that, again, have
regularities and practiced by organizations and organizational individuals.
What I attempt to argue is that the notion of regularities, which had been originally advocated as
sui-generis, through the development of functionalism and structuralism, may be reused from a more
mundane point of view. That is, if functionalism and structuralism acknowledge the importance of
individuals’ social and economic actions (people make regularities), hence, incorporate the dual nature of
social and economic world, understanding it would be more fruitful.
10
Giddens clearly sees, even though not explicitly develops, the idea of communication technology
taking an important role in modern society. He puts:
Since we now live in a world where electronic communication is taken for granted, it is worth
emphasizing what is otherwise a self-evident feature of traditional societies (of all societies, in fact,
up to a little over a century ago). . . . This is simply that all contacts between members of different
communities or societies . . . involve contexts of co-presence (Giddens, 1979, p. 143).
What is not developed here is that he does not link communication technology as a crucial factor for the
double hermeneutics of social science.


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