Functionalism, the theory to be discussed in this chapter, like marxism, is concerned with society as a whole; its structure, its processes, and the means by which social order is maintained. It assumes that such processes cannot be explained by reference to individual attitudes and behaviour alone but focuses on those aspects of society that help shape individuals. Unlike marxism, it is more concerned to explain the features of society that support its stability rather than those that promote radical change. In this way it represented in its origins a conservative reaction against individualism as indicated in chapter 1. Functionalism, again unlike marxism, integrates the explanations of economists and political scientists into the general view of society that it presents rather than attempting to explain such phenomena.