He argued that each of the various components of the society has a role to play in the general wellbeing of the entire system.
Durkheim referred to division of labor as organic solidarity and compared it to the early stages of the human society, which he called mechanical solidarity. According to Durkheim, all people performed identical roles in the traditional society. To Durkheim, societies had a strong and profound collective conscience before the advent of the modern era. This collective conscience played the role of preventing people from performing immoral acts. Durkheim held that the start of modernity weakened the collective conscience (Durkheim, 1997). This left many people puzzled about the rules that should govern everyday life. Durkheim also suggested that crime played significant roles in the modern society. Through crime, lawyers, judges, the police, and other law enforcement agencies can be assured of employment.
Another notable image that relates to the theory of functionalism is Talcott Parsons; he viewed the society as a system comprising of various interrelated parts. Parsons purported that every social system is comprised of four functional prerequisites. These include adaptation, goal attainment, pattern maintenance and integration. These prerequisites exist as problems, which the society has to solve for survival (Isajiw, 2003). Parsons argued that the function of every part of the society is based on its ability to meet the requirements of the functional prerequisites. Parsons purported that adaptation entails the ways in which the environment relates to the system. According to Parsons, the social system should have some control over the environment in order to survive (Tischler, 2010).
Parsons argued that goal attainment entails the need for societies to set goals that direct social activity. The decisions on priorities between goals and procedures that establish goals undergo institutionalization through political systems.