Another assumption is that institutions are distinct and should be studied individually.
Structural Functionalists look at institutions individually as though they are divorced from other institutions.
Individual-levels include: an individual’s desire or intention to remain a part of a group, her attitudes and beliefs about the group, the individuals’ intention to sever, weaken, maintain, or strengthen her membership or participation in a groups, and her susceptibility to group influence.
Social cohesion at a group level is directly affected by the individual members.
Education, for example, has several important functions in a society, such as socialization, learning.
Thus one of the key ideas in Structural Functionalism is that society is made-up of groups or institutions, which are cohesive, share common norms, and have a definitive culture. However, any group large enough to be a social institution is included in Structural Functionalist thinking, from religious values to sports clubs and everything in between.
That society strives toward equilibrium also means that changes happen slowly.
Propositions are proposed relationships between two concepts.
Rewards may include income, status, prestige, or power.
Institutions, organizations, and individuals are all interdependent with one another.