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Manifest and Latent Dysfunctions

A part can also have manifest or latent disruptive consequences. Manifest dysfunctions are a part's anticipated disruptions to an existing social order. A manifest dysfunction of cell phones relates to drivers who become distracted when dialing, talking, and texting, increasing their chances of being involved in or causing an accident.

Latent dysfunctions are the unanticipated disruptions to the existing social order. One latent dysfunction of the cell phone is that it can be used to report on and document events as they happen. This capability allows people to disrupt the existing order by bypassing the news media, government censors, and others who try to control or suppress the flow of information.