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What is an example of a latent function?

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Latent functions include anything from using newspaper to start a fire to using a water bottle filled with frozen water as an ice pack. According to the Sociology Guide website, a latent function is any function of an object or service that is not its intended purpose for being created

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Other examples of latent functions can be found in educational and religious institutions. While religion is designed to educate or instruct, a latent function of both of these qualities is that they offer recreational and social opportunities.

The opposite of a latent function is a manifest function. This refers to the reason an institution or item is specifically created. For example, the manifest function of a newspaper is to report the news.

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