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How does the functionalism perspective affect an explanation of urban revitalization?

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sj83 | Valedictorian

Posted March 28, 2013 at 2:56 PM via web

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How does the functionalism perspective affect an explanation of urban revitalization?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 28, 2013 at 3:13 PM (Answer #1)

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The functionalist perspective in sociology argues that society is essentially like an organism.  All of the parts of society are interconnected and they each have a role to play.  When they all work together, they create a healthy society.

When viewed from this perspective, urban revitalization is caused by the converging interests of all parts of society.  For example, the poor people in a city need jobs so revitalization is good for them because it brings new jobs to the city.  Revitalization is good for middle class families in the city because it makes their city more “livable.”  Revitalization is good for businesses because they can make profits and they can tap the workforce of the city.  Revitalization is good for the government because it expands the tax base and it reduces the level of many social problems such as crime.  From this perspective, then, urban revitalization is a good thing for all involved.

This is in contrast to something like the conflict perspective.  That perspective would focus on the idea that the rich are benefitting from urban revitalization at the expense of the poor.  Thus, the functionalist perspective points to more positive evaluations of the process of revitalization.

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