A CRITIQUE OF FUNCTIONALISM AS A THEORY OF THE CONTEMPORARY NIGERIAN SOCIAL SYSTEM

IZUOGU SUNDAY ANTHONY
Department of Sociology
Imo State University
Owerri

SUMMARY
The paper is a critique of functionalism as a theory of the contemporary Nigerian social systems. Functionalism as one of the sociological theories deals with the study of the social systems in the society. The contributions of its major proponents such as Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parson, Robert K Melton, Radcliff-Brown, George Peter Murdock and Malinowski were critically analysed in line with the Nigeria social systems such as the family, politics, school, hospital etc. Functionalist view on contemporary religious dynamics in Nigeria is critically analysed with a view to seeing how this sub-system is affecting the entire social systems of the Nigerian society. The methodology used is related literature and contributions of some authors such as Danjibo (2010) who studied the Islamic Fundamentalism in Nigeria, Isa (2010) who studied the Militant Islamic group in northern Nigeria and Adibe (2012) who studied Boko Haram as a symptom of crisis in Nigeria. Also the activities of Boko Haram in functional analysis of the religious sub-system in Nigeria were revealed. Views of different authors and books were revealed to see how functionalist theory is used in analysing the social systems in Nigeria. The findings show that functionalism is inadequate in explaining the social conflict that has bedevilled the Nigerian contemporary society today. The presentation therefore, recommends that the historical materialist theory being proffered by late professor Ikenna Nzimiro, Usman and Adelakun provides a better explanation of the contemporary social structure of the Nigerian society and the recent dysfunctional aspect of some systems today.
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Posted in VOLUME 16 N0. (2) SEPTEMBER 2014.

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