Chapter 5. Functionalism and Social Systems Theory

  1. Professor Bryan S. Turner Professor
  1. Giuseppe Sciortino PhD Associate Professor Faculty Fellow

Published Online: 2 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304992.ch5

The New Blackwell Companion to Social Theory

The New Blackwell Companion to Social Theory

How to Cite

Sciortino, G. (2008) Functionalism and Social Systems Theory, in The New Blackwell Companion to Social Theory (ed B. S. Turner), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304992.ch5

Editor Information

  1. Alona Evans Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Wellesley College Boston, USA

Author Information

  1. University of Trento, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 2 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 5 SEP 2008

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405169004

Online ISBN: 9781444304992



  • functionalism and social systems theory;
  • functionalism as normal social science;
  • sociology's strong program - social systems theory;
  • analysis of social systems;
  • after the collapse - vicissitudes of legacy;
  • radicalizing functionalism - Niklas Luhmann's theory of social systems;
  • foundations of functional analysis


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The Foundations of Functional Analysis

  • Functionalism As Normal Social Science

  • Sociology's Strong Program: Social Systems Theory

  • The Analysis of Social Systems

  • After the Collapse: Vicissitudes of a Legacy

  • Radicalizing Functionalism: Niklas Luhmann's Theory of Social Systems

  • Conclusions

  • Notes

  • Bibliography