Functionalist view of the family

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  • Functionalist view of the family
    • G.P. Murdock
      • Nuclear family is a universal concept
      • Four main functions benefiting the members of the family
        • 1. Reproductive
        • 2. Sexual
        • 3. Educational
        • 4. Economic
      • Critisisms
        • Nuclear family: ethnocentric and reflects on the time he wrote
        • Very outdated
          • fails to take account of a number of distinct modern trends
        • Politically conservative
          • clearly saying that there is a right and wrong way of organizing family life.
    • Parsons
      • How the social and economic change associated with the industrial revolution shaped family structures and relationships
        • Pre- industrial - small farming communities
        • economic resources owned by extended families
        • extended families necessary for the needs of pre-industrial society
      • Two main functions of the family
        • Primary socialisation
          • The teaching and learning of  the attitudes, values, behavioral norms and traditions
          • family is a crucial bridge connecting the individual to wider society,
        • Stabilization of adult personalities
          • Relieve stress of modern day living for its adult members
          • "warm bath theory"  - Steel and Kidd (01)
      • Critisism
        • Does not consider the " dark side" of the family
          • Child abuse - NSPCC, found 1 in 20 children had been sexually abused in the UK
        • paints a picture of children as empty vessels being pumped full with culture by their parents
        • Fails to consider the impact of global migration
          • leading to family diversity and nuclear family no longer being as dominant
    • Nuclear family
      • Functioning for the greater good of society
      • cornerstone of society
      • maintains social order
      • Benefits the individuals who comprise it


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