Social Theory and Methodology: Causation and Functionalism by Wsevolod W. Isajiw

By Wsevolod W. Isajiw

First released in 1998. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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This is one basic aspect of the ideal type method. But the actions of concrete individuals include other features as well, in this case, features that can be subsumed under concepts other than that of the Protestant Ethic. In the genesis of capitalism all these features complemented one another and have to be seen as interdependent. 49 Productive Causality in Functionalism Thus Parsons takes pains to show that for Max Weber the relation of the ethics of ascetic Protestantism to the spirit of capitalism, in spite of the 'congruence' between the two, is not one of logical consequences of the set of religious ideas for practical conduct based on them.

It goes beyond pure correlative analysis, however, on two accounts: 1. Pure correlative analysis, besides conditionalness, involves only invariability, but not adequacy; functionalism involves both. 2. Functionalism specifies the system within which the correlates occur. This limits the number of correlates; some 40 Productive Causality in functionalism of them are treated as constants, and thus productive causation is made more possible. 'INTERCAUSALITY* IN FUNCTIONALISM From a less rigid point of view, ascertaining causation is a matter of degree of possibility (probability included) that all the characteristics of the causal bond are present.

Every social structure imposes some limits on the structural innovations that would be compatible with it . . Moreover, two different mechanisms might not fulfil the same need to the same degree. The relative merits of elected and appointed judges, for example, have been debated. In any case, the threats to appointive systems are somewhat different from those in elective systems. . Finally, . . any partial structure 37 Productive Causality in Functionalist*n may have both functions and dysfunctions, for different needs of the social system.

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