This definition of social entrepreneurship is seen to model it along the lines of the functionalist perspective or theory.
Social entrepreneurs are able to act as change makers in today’s society through their seizing of the opportunities that might have been missed by others, improving the existing systems in use, creating more sustainable solutions and inventing new approaches designed to encourage the society to change for the better (Roger and Osberg, 2007).
The United States’ history is rife with numerous examples of social change movements. These movements included the Civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the students movement, the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender rights movement as well as the currently ongoing occupy Wall Street movement for social change. The civil rights movement has had a colorful history in the United States. Some of the highlights of this history include the 1775 publishing of African Slavery in America by Thomas Paine who was an abolitionist, the removal of Indians from their lands and their subsequent revolts, the fight for the rights of African Americans by Martin Luther and the recent fight for gay rights. And the women’s sufferance movement that sought to establish the right for women to be allowed to vote (Banmaszak, 2001).
The functionalist perspective generally attempts to try and explain social institutions as being collective means which can be used in meeting both social and individual needs. In formulating the theory, Durkheim was primarily concerned with answering the question of just how societies are able to effectively maintain their internal stability and survive over time. The functionalist perspectives society as functioning in a similar manner to organisms and it is the responsibility of social institutions such as social entrepreneurship to work together so as to effective reproduce and maintain these organisms (Boundless, 2013). As a result of the various parts