/Social Dysfunctionality

Social dysfunctionality refers to a social system operating at a low level of efficiency in consuming more resources than it generates while exporting a high-level of entropy to its environment, thus creating a dysfunctional state. Examples of this may include, political regimes that are corrupted, parents that are abusive or monopolistic business cartels. In each case, the function that the system is designed to perform is distorted and degraded by the specific members performing it towards their benefit, while creating negative externaliteis for society at large. Robert King Merton, a twentieth-century sociologist, introduced the concept of dysfunctionality within social systems. Talking about religion, for instance, he pointed out the dysfunctional features of religion in a multi­religious society. In such a society religion, instead of bringing about solidarity, it could become the cause of disorganization and disunity, as it divides the community up, as such dysfunctionality is also seen to be disruptive to the stability of a social system.