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Obestity Problem & Functionalist Theory

Conflict theory characterizes life by conflict in which the norms and values are not equally distributed or accepted among all members of society (Conflict). Neither are the norms and values randomly distributed. Society is divided into groups, according to conflict theory, and the relationships between and within these groups are tenuous, with power struggles often taking place if a balance is not struck between those wishing to keep things as they are and the effort needed to keep people together on the issues. Groups are defined by the power relationship between those who make the rules and those who obey them. This relationship is necessary for the group to exist.

The group must function harmoniously for the social system to work, even of they do not necessarily agree with each other. Groups can only act together if they are organized (Conflict). The key factor in making such a system work is the acceptance of the legitimate use of power by those in authority. In terms of obesity this can be seen in the struggle for acceptance by the obese population. Until now, they have always been the oppressed and have had to suffer the sneers and taunts of those of normal weight, and the problems they have to face because of their excess weight, e.g. buying two seats on an airplane. Now they are becoming more organized and fighting for their rights - demanding larger seats on public transport and airplanes, larger restroom facilities, etc. Even hospitals are accommodating larger patients with larger rooms and equipment which can handle their extra weight.

The obese population are becoming organized, and working with others groups to make the system work for them without disrupting the system. The normal social system previously isolated these people and would not work with them: now they are having to accommodate them and work together so that the system as a whole will work. People are recognizing


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Obestity Problem & Functionalist Theory. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:57, August 20, 2017, from
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