Functionalism (family)

  • Created by: azarif
  • Created on: 04-05-18 12:13
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  • Functionalism (Family)
    • Parson
      • 'Functional fit' theory
        • Functional fit= refers to the functions a family performs based on the society it's found in
        • Nuclear family= parents & dependent children
        • Extended family= 3 generations living together
        • 2 types of society
          • Traditional pre-industrial society
            • Extended family was dominant because people lived & worked in the same farm
          • Modern industrial society
            • Nuclear family is better adapted to modern industrial society because it meets needs of industrial society
      • Loss of functions
        • Modern nuclear family performs 2 'irreducible' (essential) functions
          • Primary socialisation of children- basic skills taught to enable integration & cooperation with others
          • Stabilisation of adult personalities- adults can relax & release tensions to enable them to return to work & this creates an efficient economy
          • Pre-industrial family was a multi-functional unit
            • Unit of production= extended family members work together on a farm
            • Unit of consumption= extended family fulfils basic needs of members i.e. food, clothing & welfare
        • Industrialisation of society leads to change in family structure (from extended to nuclear) & nuclear family losing many functions (unit of production & unit of consumption)
    • Murdock- 4 functions of nuclear family
      • 3. Primary socialisation- of children into society's shared norms & values
      • 2. Reproduction- of the next generation
      • 4. Meeting member's economic needs- food & shelter
      • 1. Stable satisfaction of the sex drive- with same partner to prevent social disruption
      • Criticism- functionalism neglects conflict & exploitation
        • Feminists- family serves needs of men & oppresses women
        • Marxists- family meets needs of capitalism, not family members or wider society
        • Functions of family can be performed by other non-nuclear family structures

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