malinowski functionalism: ? culture=functionalism malinowski was one of the founding fathers of british social. MALINOWSKI, MARX AND FUNCTIONALISM by Al Szymanski. University of Oregon. Few ideas in sociology have caused more confusion than &dquo. A theoretical orientation in anthropology, developed by Bronislaw Malinowski. Functionalism is similar to Radcliffe-Brown’s structural functionalism, in that it is.
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Malinowski studied malinoowski Trobrianders of New Guinea between He rejected the idea of remaining apart from their daily lives, and instead chose to carry out the participant observation method. He closely observed the activities going on around him and listened carefully to anecdotes, local gossip etc, so that he would be able to provide much fuller accounts of Trobriand life than if he had relied on formal questioning.
He was impressed with the fact that the customs, ideas, artefacts and language of the islanders all served their biological and psychological needs, and soon learned that the seemingly useless customs and rituals e.
His idea that aspects of culture are functional in that they fulfil the biological and psychological or other needs of human beings is known as “Functionalism”. He argued that the existence of customs, social institutions or social relations should be interpreted in terms of their function: One of the rituals performed by the Trobriands was the “kula ring”, a recurrent exchange of valuable gifts between the different people of the various Trobriand Islands chain.
This ritual involved members of the society making dangerous voyages across the seas in canoes in order to frequently exchange these gifts. Although from an outsider”s point of view this process would have seemed pointless, Malinowski learned that it did fit into the idea of functionalism as this ritual was considered very important, worthwhile and sacred functionslism it fulfilled the islanders” social and psychological needs- it allowed them to feel a sense of power and prestige.
There were many rituals that were performed before the canoes left the islands, and these also served to control various emotions and psychological needs, such as anxiety, which the islanders faced before setting off on such journeys.
Bronisław Malinowski – Wikipedia
As the Trobrianders were relatively behind the Malinowsi World in terms of technology, rituals such as the ones performed before the kula served to bring about a sense of security and power, thus helping to overcome feelings of powerlessness and tension. Another example of functionalism in this society was the tradition that involved the chief of the Trobrianders receiving very large amounts of foods and other tribute from the villagers whom lived finctionalism the area under his reign.
The chief was also the sub-owner of many of the agricultural foodstuffs that these villagers owned, functionalsm claimed many supplies of these which he was obliged, by custom, to re-distribute at a later stage in the form of payments for various public services performed by the villagers at his command.
This meant that the villagers were in fact consuming the products of their own labour, except this was done after the wealth went through the chief and thus emphasised and reinforced his control and made his wealth an instrument of political power in their society.
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Undergraduate Full time Part time. Malinowski and functionalism Malinowski studied the Trobrianders of New Guinea between How was your ?
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