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ITEM A: Functionalism is a consensus theory. It sees society as based on a set of shared values and this value consensus is the basis for social order. It is also a systems theory. It emphasises the way the social system shapes social institutions and the
behaviour patterns of individuals. Society is seen as a system with its own separate existence and needs. However, some critics claim that functionalism understates the extent of conflict in society. Others argue that functionalism is too deterministic.
QUESTION: Applying material from Item A and your own knowledge, evaluate the claim that functionalism understates both the extent of conflict in society and the ability of social actors to create society through interaction. (20 marks)