Marxism and the Family

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  • Created on: 05-02-21 12:28
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  • Marxism and the Family
    • Inheritance of Property- Engels
      • Monogamous nuclear family developed because of the inheritance of private property
        • Provides proof of paternity so fathers can pass on their property to their legitimate heirs
      • Perpetuates Capitalism because the bourgeoisie own and control the economic base, therefore this ownership can be passed on through generations
    • Ideological Functions- Althusser
      • In order for capitalism to survive, the working class must submit to the bourgeoisie
      • The family is one of the main means of passing on the ideology of the ruling class as it is part of the ideological state apparatus (ISA)
      • Through socialisation in the family the bourgeoisie maintain false class consciousness (FCC) by winning the hearts and minds of the proletariat, e.g through the media and education
      • The family provides us with role models, e.g by seeing your parents go to work we believe that work is the norm and expectation
      • The family brings about social control through the use of positive and negative sanctions
        • As a result, the family produces an obedient workforce which means that children will not grow up to develop a class consciousness. Thus there will be no revolution, maintaining capitalism
    • Unit of Consumption- Zaretsky
      • The family consumes the products of capitalism with housewives trying to compete with one another
        • 'Keeping up with the Joneses'- to want to own the same expensive objects and do the same things as your friends or neighbours as you are worried about being seen as having less status than them
      • Children have 'pester power' for the latest products
      • The bourgeoisie benefits from this because they get more surplus value
      • Families are persuaded by the media (ISA) to have the latest products to fit in with the rest of society
        • If families can't afford the latest products they may do more work to earn more money.
          • This benefits the bourgeoisie because it means that they get more workers to produce and sell more product
    • Cushions the Effects of Capitalism- Zaretsky
      • Women act as  a 'safety valve' for men. They are there to look after them and help them deal with the boredom of work


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