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  • Created by: Sophie
  • Created on: 19-01-13 12:22
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  • Functionalism
    • Functionalism is:
      • Functions
      • Society =  a biological organism
      • Society is based upon a value consensus.
    • What are the functions of the family? (Murdock 1949)
      • Primary Socialisation
      • Economic Needs
      • Reproduction
      • Sex
    • Could other institutions not preform these functions?
      • Can only parents/ siblings teach children the norms and values of society?
        • Communes and other institutions  can provide economic security.
        • Women can use sperm donors for reproduction.
        • Prostitutes can be used for sex.
      • Murdock see's the family through 'rose - tinted' glasses.
        • Functionalists ignore issues such as domestic violence and neglect. (The Darkside of the Family)
    • Functional Fit Theory (Parsons)
      • Families play different functions depending on the society in which they are in.
        • Pre - Industrial Society
          • Parsons believed that in pre - industrial Britain, the most common family was the extended family.
            • This is because the needs to the pre - industrial society required the extended family.
        • Industrial Society
          • After Britain went through the industrial revolution, the needs of society changed. This caused the increase in the 'nuclear family'
          • Reasons for the changes.
            • Industrial society requires:
              • A geographical mobile workforce.
              • A socially mobile workforce.
          • Parsons argues that families lost their 'functions' outlined by Murdock after the Industrial Revolution
            • Now families have just two functions:
              • Primary Socialisation
              • Stabilising  Adult Personalities
          • Criticisms!
            • The extended family was not dominant before the industrial revolution.
              • Young and Willmott (1973)
                • It was nuclear
              • Laslett (1972)
                • Short life expectancy resulted in few extended families.
            • Not all families became nuclear after the industrial revolution.
              • Anderson (1980)
                • Found that working class families turned to the extended family due to illness, cost and childcare.
              • Hareven (1999)
                • Found that the extended family was best equipped for the post - industrial society.
            • But the extended family is becoming increasingly popular in modern British society


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