Start Date

30-5-2011 4:00 PM

End Date

30-5-2011 4:30 PM

Description

Sociological functionalist theory provides a suggestive array of ideas with which to conceptualize any social structure. Starting with the idea that a structure must perform certain functions in order to survive and fulfill its task, this sociological model sets the subject social structure in its "environment" of other social structures to which it relates, regarding the whole as a "social system." In the language of one prominent theorist of functionalism, survival of any structure in a social system requires the abstract functions of "adaptation," "goal attainment," "integration," and "pattern maintenance" all to be performed successfully. These structural level requirements provide the abstract definitions of roles which must operate throughout the lifetime of any practical group. Functional models work well for task groups, military units, and the like, although close examination of such groups usually exposes important instances of group sustainability requiring contradictory or even non-functional roles to be performed. A community musical organization, members of which want to perform at their highest possible musical level while obtaining for themselves substantial reward in both musical and personal terms, can easily develop contradictory role demands. Over the twenty-two years of its existence, The London Jazz Orchestra has developed methods of handling these conflicting demands which may be analyzed from the point of view of the general functionalist model. Some practical conclusions may be drawn from this analysis.


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May 30th, 4:00 PM May 30th, 4:30 PM

High Quality Performances from “Community” Musical Groups: The Sometimes Conflicting Personal and Musical Requirements for a High Level of Performance Combined with Sustainable Personal Satisfaction in a Long Surviving Musical Group. The Case of The London Jazz Orchestra

Sociological functionalist theory provides a suggestive array of ideas with which to conceptualize any social structure. Starting with the idea that a structure must perform certain functions in order to survive and fulfill its task, this sociological model sets the subject social structure in its "environment" of other social structures to which it relates, regarding the whole as a "social system." In the language of one prominent theorist of functionalism, survival of any structure in a social system requires the abstract functions of "adaptation," "goal attainment," "integration," and "pattern maintenance" all to be performed successfully. These structural level requirements provide the abstract definitions of roles which must operate throughout the lifetime of any practical group. Functional models work well for task groups, military units, and the like, although close examination of such groups usually exposes important instances of group sustainability requiring contradictory or even non-functional roles to be performed. A community musical organization, members of which want to perform at their highest possible musical level while obtaining for themselves substantial reward in both musical and personal terms, can easily develop contradictory role demands. Over the twenty-two years of its existence, The London Jazz Orchestra has developed methods of handling these conflicting demands which may be analyzed from the point of view of the general functionalist model. Some practical conclusions may be drawn from this analysis.