Structural Functionalism

Essay by spoonman419 July 2004

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In America, the Land of the Free, it's hard to fathom that "we are all born free, but everywhere we are in chains", as was stated by the great philosopher, Rousseau. These chains are not visible, rather they are an invisible force that comes from conformity to society. How can I say we're not free when we all have the freedom of our own thought, you might ask?

From the moment of our birth we are force-fed restrictions and limitations. We are a finely tuned race, brain washed to believe Western Society is the only society. Some of us were not made for this ridiculous world of greed and excessive consumption. Some see no point to the endless cycle of being "...plowed into the soil for compost", as Thoreau would say, so another generation can be born and go through the same endless life style of greed and corruption.

In the Western World we are taught that our way of life is the only one to be deemed "civilized". The idea of being completely independent and only consuming what is needed is shunned in America. How would America function without the economy being steadily backed by a society of spend-what-you-get capitalists? You can't be happy with what you have, knowing that something out there is a little better than your item. How can we impress our neighbors by driving a 3 year old Lexus?

In a country of excessive consumption, it's sometimes hard not to get caught up in it. We are told what is "cool" and "hip" from magazines supported by leading corporations, only so we will go out and buy their "cool" and "hip" products. Is it not obvious that we are told what is "cool"? In grocery stores, items have to been thrown away after...