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eufunction


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A eufunctional activity (from the Greek eu meaning ‘well’) is one which contributes to the maintenance or survival of another social activity or of the social system as a whole. The term is now largely obsolete, having been replaced by the simple reference to an activity being functional or having a particular function, the implication being that the objective consequence of the activity in question for the wider social system is indeed positive, in the sense of contributing to the maintenance of social order and stability. The contrast, in the cases of both the older and modern terminology, is with the concept of dysfunction—a term applied in functionalist sociology to activities which are deemed to contribute to the disturbance of existing social patterns and structures. The distinction between functions (or eufunctions) and dysfunctions should not be confused with that between manifest and latent functions: it is possible, at least in principle, to distinguish manifest and latent functions and manifest and latent dysfunctions.

Subjects: Sociology.


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