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Social Movement: Functionalist Theories

The Adaptive Perspective

Movements arise in response to widely-recognized need for change in the structure of society.

Movements seek to improve the functioning of society to respond to changes in the external environment.

Citizens share a sense of anxiety and frustration over existing institutions.

Citizens are mainly united in defining goals for a new structure to society.

Movements are functional in changing institutions to meet challenges of a new environment, training new leaders, and engendering social cohesion.

Movements are dysfunctional in creating transitional disruption in existing institutions and temporarily displacing individuals from existing roles.

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