[Manifest and latent functions and dysfunctions] Each system in society has a specific function that relies on other systems
Each system in society has a specific function that relies on and is associated to other systems. When these systems function, it leads to social stability. Dysfunction in one or more systems leads to social instability. Both functions and dysfunctions can be latent or manifest.
Functions are those observed consequences which make for the adaptation or adjustment of a given system; and dysfunctions, those observed consequences which lessen the adaptation or adjustment of the system. There is also the empirical possibility of nonfunctional consequences, which are simply irrelevant to the system under consideration.
In any given instance, an item may have both functional and dysfunctional consequences, giving rise to the difficult and important problem of evolving canons for assessing the net balance of the aggregate of consequences. (This is, of course, most important in the use of functional analysis for guiding the formation and enactment of policy.)
The second problem (arising from the easy confusion of motives and functions) requires us to introduce a conceptual distinction between the cases in which the subjective aim-in-view coincides with the objective consequence, and the cases in which they diverge.
Manifest functions are those objective consequences contributing to the adjustment or adaptation of the system which are intended and recognized by participants in the system.
Latent functions, correlatively, being those which are neither intended nor recognized.
The manifest function of a rain dance, is to produce rain, and this outcome is intended and desired by people participating in the ritual
The latent function reinforces the group identity by providing a regular opportunity for the members of a group to meet and engage in a common activity
The “manifest” function of antigambling legislation may be to suppress gambling, its “latent” function to create an illegal empire for the gambling syndicates.
Christian missions in parts of Africa “manifestly” tried to convert Africans to Christianity, “latently” helped to destroy the indigenous tribal cultures and this provided an important impetus towards rapid social transformation.
The control of the Communist Party over all sectors of social life in Russia “manifestly” was to assure the continued dominance of the revolutionary ethos, “latently” created a new class of comfortable bureaucrats uncannily bourgeois in its aspirations and increasingly disinclined toward the self-denial of Bolshevik dedication
The “manifest” function of many voluntary associations in America is sociability and public service, the “latent” function to attach status indices to those permitted to belong to such associations.
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
That is the curse of the human race. Sociability.
What Christ should have said was "Yea, verily, whenever two or three of you are gathered together, some other guy is going to get the living shit knocked out of him." Shall I tell you what sociology teaches us about the human race? I'll give it to you in a nutshell.
Show me a man or woman alone and I'll show you a saint. Give me two and they'll fall in love. Give me three and they'll invent the charming thing we call "society." Give me four and they'll build a pyramid. Give me five and they'll make one an outcast Give me six and they'll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they'll reinvent warfare. Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home.
No serious sociologist any longer believes that the voice of the people expresses any divine or specially wise and lofty idea.
The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by the group leaders in whom it believes and by those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion.
It is composed of inherited prejudices and symbols and cliches and verbal formulas supplied to them by the leaders.
If you want to make a difference, the next time you see someone being cruel to another human being, take it personally. Take it personally because it is personal!
The fundamental attribution error is our tendency to explain someone's behavior based on internal factors, such as personality or disposition - hence emphasize the person’s internal characteristics – over the external factors.
People have a cognitive bias to assume that a person's actions depend on what “kind” of they are rather than on the social and environmental forces. We see others as responsible for their behavior when bad things happen to them. We blame them for their personality instead of weighting situational influences which lead them to be in such unpleasant position.
In fact, what we really do is harshly judging them with no rationalization.
[This is not the original wording from the author]