Toshiki Sato University of Tokyo

abstract Functionalism is one of the most prevalent modes of thinking in sociology. Although it is no longer regarded as the dominant theory, functional method is still frequently used, either implicitly or explicitly. This article focuses in the main on three types of functionalism, (1) the teleological theorization of Talcott Parsons, (2) the reflective methodology of Robert Merton and (3) the interpretative reformulation of Niklas Luhmann with its empirical studies. 

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