Role of the family

the role of the family.

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  • Created on: 17-12-12 13:35
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  • The role of the family
    • Functionalist
      • The family meets functional prerequisites including sexual, reproductive, economic and emotional needs.
      • The family has moved towards the isolated nuclear family to facilitate geographical mobility in industrial society.
      • Traditional gender roles continue and are functional for society.
      • This view identifies and explains the positive benefits of family life, but can be over-optimistic, ignoring the 'dark' side of the family.
    • Marxist
      • The family acts as an ideological state apparatus, legitimizing and stabilizing the capitalist system.
      • The nuclear family is still dominate, acting an increasing role in consumption.
      • Relationships are hierarchical and male-dominated, based on economic control, just as the ruling class dominates society.
      • This view anaylses how economic inequality might shape family life, but too much emphasis on economic factors and not enough on gender difference. The marxist view also ignores positive benefits of family for society.
    • Feminist
      • The family is patriarchal institution maintaining male power and dominance.
      • Radical feminists believe the patriarchal nuclear family dominates, but postmodern and different feminists are more aware of increasing diversity.
      • Patriarchal dominance continues, but liberal feminists accept some move towards equality.


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