In
their monograph Functionalism (1979),
Jonathan H. Turner and Alexandra Maryanski proclaimed the apparent death of functionalism:

[The
promise of functionalism was to provide a] greater insight into the operation
of social systems […] It offered so much; and yet […] functionalism promised
more than it could deliver. Functional analysis often confused rather than
classified; and in time, scholars became increasingly disenchanted with
functionalism’s promise. Today it is not unusual to find commentators arguing
that functional analysis has nothing to offer the social sciences. This
sentiment is so pervasive that few contemporary social scientists would be
willing to proclaim themselves ‘functionalists’. They seemingly have died as an
intellectual breed, or retreated into academic closets. This book is about the
emergence, ascendance, and apparent fall of functionalism. Why did it emerge?
Why did it prosper and dominate sociology and anthropology? Why did it become
the subject of intense criticism?

The
death is, however, only ‘seeming’, because as a neofunctionalist Jeffrey C. Alexander
argues every sociologist is functionalist to this or that extent. Indeed the proclamation
of the death of fuctionalism above is couched in functionalist terms: all the
questions asked point to the main functionalist question—what does a social
phenomenon do for the social whole? What function does it fulfil?

Translation
students are definitely functionalists too. They study translation which means
that they recognize, sometimes unconsciously, that translation is a particular
institutionalised social activity which can be defined as a body of practices
which, by virtue of their fulfilling a particular function in society, can be
subsumed under one name (in English—‘translation’). If translations did not
have something similar, they would not be called translations (or whatever
other name in whatever language). They may be very different from one another,
yet they all translate.

What
does it mean ‘to translate’? We can hear different answers, but all of them
would have some core characteristics. Whatever they are, they allow translation
students have a subject matter for studies. Whether text or translator are put
in the centre of translation studies, functionalist approach is unmistakeable.
A text qualifies as a subject matter of the translation student because it fulfils
a particular social function. A translator qualifies as a subject matter of the
translation student because that person practices a social activity which
fulfils a particular social function.

Perhaps the patent sociological/anthropological functionalism, if we align our latent functionalism in TS, could help us… I am investigating this aspect now.