Structuralism together by a shared culture because

Structuralism is a macrosociological approach that is concerned with the overall structure of society. Structuralists observe the relationships between social institutions like the family, the education system and media and how they control individuals. They believe that social facts shape a individuals identity and the culture of a society is shaped by the structure. Structuralists include Functionalists, Marxists, and Feminists and try to study society in a holistic manner instead of focusing on individuals. Culture is the way of life people follow, this includes many things like their norms, religion, food, traditions, values, and beliefs. Structuralists believe culture is passed on as part of the process of socialization from generation to generationFunctionalism forms the consensus structuralist approach, functionalists believe that society is built upon a value consensus that all individuals share. Emile Durkheim, an influential French functionalist, believed that an individual is a product of society and that individuals internalize the norms and values of their culture, becoming a part of it. Functional also believe that individuals are ‘glued’ together by a shared culture because it creates solidarity and a shared identity. Durkheim said that culture served an important function in society thus by creating social order through people sharing the same views, beliefs, values,etc. Parsons also reiterates this view and talks about how important culture is for integration in a society. Functionalists believe that culture is part of the consensus in a society and is responsible its smooth running. They also see the transference of culture through socialization as a benevolent process and that it makes individuals behave how societies expect them to, thus becoming ‘stitched’ into their culture. Unlike Functionalists who see culture as a positive force that makes society run smoothly, Marxists believe that culture restrains individuals, they are referred to as conflict structuralists. Marxists explain that the capitalists or Bourgeoisie control society and the super structure and dominate the proletariat by controlling their culture. The mass culture is seen by them as ruling class culture, that benefits the upper class while keeps the labor class from creating change. Gramsci, a neo Marxist, explains this through his theory of ideological hegemony and explains how culture is just a product of ruling class ideologies. Karl Marx, the founder of Marxism, also explained how society is in a state of false consciousness created by the mass culture and that it stops them from both self actualizing and revolting against the bourgeoise. They see social institutions as controlling features that numb society into following order, for example Karl Marx says that religion is the opium of the masses. Culture thus they believe is a negative force that compels individuals to behave according to how the ruling class wants them to. Functionalists portray culture to be a rigid force that indoctrinates individuals into the same beliefs, norms and values generation after generation. They don’t recognize that culture may be more stratified and fluid. They believe that an individual is carved and molded into shape by social facts and are made to internalize the culture in a society and ignore the ability of individuals to choose their identity and culture on their own. They believe that people are controlled by external forces and are criticized for not acknowledging that individuals can themselves shape culture instead of the other way around. Marxists explain how culture is controlled by the super structure which is controlled by the bourgeoisie. Thus they claim that the entire society is controlled by the bourgeoise as they control the culture. They are often criticized for ignoring the middle class and their culture. They also fail to acknowledge that with growing globalization and communication, the line between high culture and mass culture is becoming blurred, as said by Macdonald and Strinati. The Marxists use economic divisions to explain culture and don’t take much else into account like religion and race, and thus are also very economically deterministic in their approach. Their ideas of culture explain the Marxist ideology but don’t relate to the subcultures that exist within mass cultures like goth or gay cultures.Structural theories view individuals like puppets, with little control over their own lives, being molded into following their culture, ‘Cultural dopes’ is how Garfinkel refered to them. The structuralists believe that individuals passively take part in the socialization process, consuming and accepting norms and values handed down to them generation to generation. Structural approaches don’t recognize that individuals have free will, can take initiatives, make choices and disobey social rules. They are criticized most by social action theorists who believe individuals carve out their own identity. Lawler for one suggests that individuals interpret their environment to form identities, instead of just accepting the dominant culture. Mead also emphasizes how socialization exposes children to various people and allows them to choose their own culture through the development of their own ideas and beliefs.