Couples, childhood, theories of the family

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  • Couples, childhood, theories
    • Marxism
      • Functions of family: 1) inheritance of property 2) unit of consumption 3) ideological function
    • Functionalism/march of progress
      • Murdock: Functions family: 1) reproduction of next generation, primary socialisation, stable satisfaction of sex drive, economic needs
        • functions can be performed by non-nuclear families, feminists and marxists critical
      • Parsons:
        • Functional fit theory: during industrialisation, moved from extended to nuclear family due to need for 1) geographically mobile workforce 2) socially mobile workforce.. 2 irreducible functions: primary socialisation, stabilisation of adult personalities
          • "takers of ****" - marxist feminists - Ansley
        • Natural division of labour. Instrumental/expressive role
          • Anne oakley - division of labour not natural. Wilmott and Young - men taking greater share of domestic tasks
            • Wilmott and young study - rise in symmetrical family 1) geographical mobility 2) rise of tech 3) increase standards of living 4) changes in women's position
              • Anne Oakley - reject march of progress - only 15% of husbands had high levels of participation in housework
                • liberal
      • Aries - childhood socially constructed - position of childhood improved - modern cult of childhood - now distinct and separate (pilcher)
        • Pollock - more correct to say that in Middle ages, society had different notion of childhood
        • toxic childhood - Palmer - UK children experiencing toxic childhood. rapid technological and cultural change in past 25 years, damaged children's physical, emotional and intellectual development
      • reasons for changes in position of childhood: laws, compulsory schooling, child protection, declining family sizes, paediatricians,INDUSTRIALISATION
    • Interactionism/Personal life/postmodernity
      • Smart - same sex couples attached no importance to who controlled money, did not see this as control, they do not enter the same "historical, gendered heterosexual baggage of cultural meanings around money"
      • Postman "childhood is disappearing at a dazzling speed" - information hierarchy - cause lies in rise and fall of print of culture and replacement by television culture
        • Opie - childhood not disappearing - strong evidence of continued existence of a separate children's culture over many years
      • Childhood in postmodernity - not disappearing, changing as society moves from modernity to postmodernity. relationships more unstable, children adults' last refuge from constant uncertainty
        • Guilty of over-generalising, makes sweeping statements implying all children in same position
      • Beyond ties of blood and marriage: fictive kin, relationship with pet
        • by including wide range of different kings of personal relationships, ignore what is special about relationships based on blood or marriage


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