Idea Solution :
The structural-functional approach is derived from earlier uses of functionalism and systems models in anthropology, sociology, biology, and political science. Structural functionalism became popular around 1960 when it became clear that ways of studying U.S. and European politics were not useful in studying newly independent countries, and that a new approach was needed. Structural-functionalism assumes that a bounded (nation-state) system exists, and studies structures in terms of their function(s) within the system. For structural functionalists the question to be answered is what does a structure (guerrilla movement, political party, election, etc.) do within the political system (of country x)? The goal is to find out what something actually does in a political system, as opposed to what it is supposed to do. Thus, structural functionalists would not waste time studying constitutions in Third World countries if they found that the constitutions [structures] had little impact on political reality.
Almond claimed that certain political functions existed in all political systems. On the input side he listed these functions as: political socialization, political interest articulation, political interest aggregation, and political communication. Listed as outputs were rule-making, rule implementation, and rule adjudication. Other basic functions of all political systems included the conversion process, basic pattern maintenance, and various capabilities (distributive, symbolic, etc.). Structural functionalists argued that all political systems, including Third World systems, could most fruitfully be studied and compared on the basis of how differing structures performed these functions in the various political system.