The functional orientation is of course neither new nor confined to the social sciences.  It came, in fact, relatively late on the sociological scene, if one may judge by its earlier and extended use in a great variety of other disciplines.  The central orientation of functionalism--expressed in the practice of interpreting data by establishing their consequences for larger structures in which they are implicated--has been found in virtually all the sciences of man--biology and physiology, psychology, economics and law, anthropology and sociology.  The prevalence of the functional outlook is in itself no warrant for its scientific value, but it does suggest that cumulative experience has forced this orientation upon the disciplined observers of man as biological organism, psychological actor, member of society and bearer of culture (1968, pp. 100-102).