Functionalist Theories and Criticisms on The Family

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  • Functionalist Theories and Criticisms
    • Murdock
      • The Nuclear family is universal
        • As it performs 4 major functions
          • Stable Satisfaction of Sex Drive
            • However
              • The view is rose-tinted as it ignores exploitation within it:
                • Feminists see the nuclear family as serving the needs of men and oppressing women
                • Marxists see it as serving the needs of capitalism
          • Reproduction
          • Socialization of norms and values to children
          • Meeting Economic needs
    • Parsons
      • The Family has 2 'basic and irreducible' functions
        • Socialization of children of norms and values
          • However
            • Zaretsky (Marxist)
              • Suggests that this is a 'pressure valve' that provides emotional support so the parents can handle another day of being oppressed by higher classes
        • Stabilization of the adult personalities. A 'Safety-valve' where the parents can relax and feel emotionally secure
          • However
            • Parsons ignores that this process can be resisted by children
      • Fit theory- Industrialization cause the shift from extended to nuclear families
        • As it created a:
          • Socially mobile workforce
          • Geographically mobile workforce
        • However
          • Willmott and Young
            • Pre-Industrial families tended to be nuclear and not extended to lower life expectancy


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