Functionalist perspective of the family

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  • Created by: STA
  • Created on: 02-05-13 15:56
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  • Functionalist Perspective
    • Main Themes
      • Family has essential functions it must perform to meet the basic needs of society
      • As society develops, functions become more specialised
      • Family is a universal institution
      • Functional relationship between family and other social institutions
      • Nuclear family best suited to industrial society
      • Male and females have different functional roles
    • Murdock
      • Family performs 4 basic fuctions
        • Sexual
        • Reproductive
        • Economic
        • Educational
      • Study of 250 societys
      • Family is universal as its the best way of adjusting to society's needs
    • Parsons
      • 2 basic and irreducible functions
        • Primary socialisation of children
        • Stabilisation of adult personalities
      • Structural differentiation
        • Lost some of its functions to other specialist institutions
      • Nuclear family best for industrial society
        • Geographical and social mobility
        • Status is achieved not ascribed
      • Male and female different roles
        • Female
          • Expressive
          • providing care, love & warmth
        • Male
          • Instrumental
          • working, breadwinner role


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