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Structural-Functionalism Reconsidered: A Proposed Research Model

Ruth Lane
Comparative Politics
Vol. 26, No. 4 (Jul., 1994), pp. 461-477
DOI: 10.2307/422026
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/422026
Page Count: 17
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Structural-Functionalism Reconsidered: A Proposed Research Model
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Abstract

Structural-functionalism, once the flagship of comparative political research, has fallen upon the ash heap of history, discarded by friends and foes alike for failures of theoretical rigor and, worse still, falsity of predictions about political development. Twenty years of hindsight suggest that structural-functionalism need not be so arbitrarily discarded. When radically revised by means of a conversion from macro-analysis to a form of micro-analysis, structural-functionalism shows a theoretical vigor that its successors often lack. The theory can be turned on its head to provide a series of propositions and hypotheses at a level sufficiently concrete to integrate theoretical development within comparative political research.

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