Marxist view of the family

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  • Created by: Lilly
  • Created on: 10-01-13 12:39
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  • Marxist theories on the family
    • Economic systems
      • Capitalist society, the ruling class were wealth factory owners (the bourgeoisise and the subject class were th working class employees (proletariat)
      • Society passed through several periods in which different economic systems or modes od production were dominnant
      • The proletariat class were exploited by the bourgeoisie because they were not paid the full value of their work since the bourgeoisise kept some surplus value or profit
    • Perspective on the family
      • Zaretsky 1976- Sees the family as the prop to the capitalist system. the unpaid domestic labour of housewives supports future generations of workers at no cost to capitalist employers. The family consumes the commodities producd by capitalist, helping the bourgeoise to make products
      • Poulantzas 1969- sees the family as part of the superstrucutre of socuety. He describes it as part of the ideological states appaatus, which is controlled by the bourgeoisie and used to create values, attitudes and beliefs which support the capitalist system and posistion of the ruling class
      • Engles 1884- argued that the family developed developed so that men could be certain of the paternity of children, with marriage allowing them to control women's sexuality
    • Perspective
      • Those who owned the means of production- things needed to produce other things, such as land, capital and machinery- formed a powerful ruling class
      • According to Maex & Engles (1800) power in society largely steemmed from wealth
      • The 'ruling' class were able to exploi the subject class, those who didnt own means of production
    • Criticisms
      • Feminist criticise them for neglecting the exploitation of women
      • Postmodernists criticize them for ignoring te variety of family types present in society today
      • Some modern evidecne contradicts the view that the family only developed after the herding of animals was introduced
      • Functionalsts believe that  they ignore the benefical functions of the family for society
    • Economic base and superstructure:
      • Means that the means of production formed the economic base/infrastructure of sociert, because they controlled the economic base, they were able to control other aspects of society- media, government, religions and family
      • Power of the bourgeoisise derived from their ownership of the means of production


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