Functionalists

Mind map to show all you will need to know about functionalism for AS unit 1 Exams

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  • Functionalists
    • SOCIETY IS MADE UP OF PARTS THAT DEPEND ON EACH OTHER
      • The family
      • Education system
      • Often compared to a biological organ
      • The economy
    • SOCIETY IS BASED ON VALUE CONSENSUS
      • Allows individuals to co-operate harmoniously to meet societies needs and achieve shared goals
      • A set of shared norms and values
    • MURDOCK (1949)
      • VIEWS
        • Argued the family performs four essential functions to meet the needs of society
          • Socialisation of the young
          • Reproduction of the next generation
          • Meeting its members' economic needs
          • Stable satisfaction of the sex drive
      • CRITICISMS
        • Argues the practicality of the nuclear family as a way of meeting these four needs explains why it is universal (found in all human societies)
        • Some argue they could be performed equally well through other institutions or non-nuclear family structures
          • Marxists and Feminists reject this "rose-tinted" view
        • Marxists and Feminists argue that functionalism neglects conflict and exploitation
          • Feminists
            • See the family as serving the needs of men
          • Marxists
            • Argue it meets the needs of capitalism, not those family mem
    • PARSONS (1955) - FUNCTIONAL FIT THEORY
      • VIEWS
        • The family may meet other needs
          • Political
          • Military
          • Religious functions
          • Welfare
        • The functions it performs will depend on the type of society in which it is found
        • The functions the family has to perform will affect its shape or structure
        • Argues there are two types of family structure
          • Extended Family
            • Traditional pre-industrial society
          • Nuclear Family
        • There are two basic types of society
          • Modern industrial society
            • Nuclear Family
          • Traditional pre-industrial society
    • INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY HAS TWO DIFFERENT ESSENTIAL NEEDS
      • Geographically mobile workforce - People need to move to where the jobs are; Parsons argues it is easier for the compact two-generation nuclear family with just dependant children, to move.
      • Socially mobile workforce - Modern industrial society is based on constantly evolving science and technology so requires skilled technically competent workforce; essential that talented people are able to win promotion and take on the most important jobs
      • For this reason Parsons argues that the nuclear family is the better equipped than the extended family to meet the needs of industrialisation
        • PARSONS (1955) - FUNCTIONAL FIT THEORY
          • VIEWS
            • The family may meet other needs
              • Political
              • Military
              • Religious functions
              • Welfare
            • The functions it performs will depend on the type of society in which it is found
            • The functions the family has to perform will affect its shape or structure
            • Argues there are two types of family structure
              • Extended Family
              • There are two basic types of society
                • Modern industrial society
            • The result of this is the mobile nuclear family which is structurally isolated from its extended kin without binding obligations towards them (unlike the pre-industrial extended family)
        • LOSS OF FUNCTIONS
          • The pre-industrial family was a multi-functional unit
            • A unit of production
            • A unit of consumption
              • Therefore more self-sufficient
                • A unit of production
          • Parsons argues that when society industrialises the family not only changes its structure but also loses some of its functions
            • Family becomes a unit of consumption only
            • Family ceases to be a unit of production
            • Loses most of its other functions to other institutions such as schools and the health service
              • As a result - The modern nuclear family comes to specialise in performing just two essential or "irreducible" functions
                • Family ceases to be a unit of production
                • Family becomes a unit of consumption only
                • Primary Socialisation
                • Stabilisation of adult personalities

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