Topic 3: Functions of the family (notes)

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  • Functions of the family
    • Functionalists
      • MURDOCK
        • Families perform 4 needs
          • Socialisation of the young
          • Reproduction of the next generation
          • Meeting it's members economic needs
          • Stable satisfaction of the sex drive
        • Criticisms
          • Feminists
            • Serving the needs of men and oppressing women
          • Marxists
            • Meets the needs of capitalism, not society as a whole
      • PARSONS
        • Nuclear family
        • Extended family
        • Two types of society
          • Modern industrial
          • Pre-industrial
        • Geographically mobile workforce
          • Traditionally pre-industrial
          • Most people lived and worked in the same village
        • Socially mobile workforce
          • Modern industrial
          • Evolving technology
      • Loss of functions
        • Nuclear family performs two essential funtions
          • Primary socialisation
            • Equip them with basic skills to integrate them into society
          • Stabilisation of adult personalities
            • Family = a place to relax outside the workplace
    • Marxists
      • Capitalist class - meet the means of production
      • Working class - whose labor the capitalists exploit for profit
      • Ideological functions
      • Unit of consuption
        • Advertisers urge families to 'keep up with the Jonses' by consuming the latest products
        • Media target children
        • Children who lack the latest things are mocked and stigmatised
      • Criticisms
        • They assume that the nuclear family is dominant
        • Feminists - Underestimates the importance of gender inequality
        • Functionalists - Ignore the benefits the family provide
    • Feminist
      • Liberal
        • Women's oppression is gradually being overcome
          • Laws against sex descrimination
        • Moving towards greater inequality
      • Marxists
        • Women reproduce the labor force
          • Unpaid domestic work
        • Women absorb anger
          • ANSLEY
            • 'Women are takers of shit
        • Women are the 'reserve army' for cheap labor
        • Women in the family is linked to the exploitation of the working class
      • Radical
        • Men are the enemy
        • Family and marriage are the key institutions in patriarchal society
      • Difference
        • Cannot generalise
      • Criricisms
        • They assume that the nuclear family is dominant
        • They are all structural theories

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