That society strives toward equilibrium also means that changes happen slowly.Propositions are proposed relationships between two concepts.
Social inequality refers to any scenario in which individuals in a society do not have equal social status.
Areas of potential inequality include voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, the extent of property rights and access to education, health care, quality housing and other social goods.
Structural Functionalism explains that the way society is organized is the most natural and efficient way for it to be organized. According to Structural Functionalist perspective, women being subordinate to men allows the wage-earners to function smoothly as everyone in the society knows his or her respective position in the hierarchy.
The implication is that, because society is functioning smoothly with gender stratification, such stratification is acceptable and efforts should not be made to change the arrangement.
Equilibrium, in a social context, is the internal and external balance in a society.
While temporary disturbances may upset the equilibrium of society, because of social structure, society will eventually return to a balanced, orderly state.
Education, for example, has several important functions in a society, such as socialization, learning.
Thus one of the key ideas in Structural Functionalism is that society is made-up of groups or institutions, which are cohesive, share common norms, and have a definitive culture. However, any group large enough to be a social institution is included in Structural Functionalist thinking, from religious values to sports clubs and everything in between.
This is a mistake, as institutions are interlinked in society and those employing a structural functionalist approach should be taken into consideration the network of relationships that exist between these institutions.
Social cohesion describes the bonds that bring people together in a society.