Functions of the Family

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  • Marxist Theories
    • Functions of the Family
      • Functionalist Theories
        • Family is functional for both society and individual family members.
        • Family performs four key functions (Murdock)
          • Socialisation of children
          • Economic
          • Sexual
          • Reproductive
          • Lost to the state through social welfare, education etc.
        • Family still remains two basic functions (Parsons)
          • Primary socialisation of children
          • Stabilisation of adult personalities
      • Interactionist Theories
        • Micro level examination of individual meanings and interactions of its members
          • Relationships with friends and family, pets and family friends
      • Feminists Theories
        • View the family as an institution that serves the interests of men at the expense of women
    • Families operate to maintain an unfair, unequal and exploitative Capitalist system
    • It allows for the inheritance of private property. (Engels)
      • Reproduces and maintains a healthy labour force for Capitalism free of charge.
    • Socialises its members to accept authority, hierarchy, to conform. (Zaretsky)
      • Provides a 'safe haven' away from Capitalist exploitation.


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