Theories of the Family part 1

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  • THEORIES OF THE FAMILY
    • POSITIVES OF THE FAMILY
      • primary socialisation
      • provides emotional and financial support
      • creates harmony and  feeling of unity and belonging (social solidarity)
      • for wider society: creates a future workforce & teaches values of society
    • NEGATIVES OF THE FAMILY
      • negative socialisation and teaching of dysfunctional behaviour and norms and values
      • reproduces inequality- stay trapped in same social class.
      • passes on conformity- brainwashed to be obedient and erases individuality
      • dysfunctional families leaad to dysfunctional youngsters who do bad at school and turned to school and turn to crime.   social and economic cost.
    • Functionalist theory
      • believe society is based on value consesus
        • a set of shared norms + values. if we have this then we can function  effectively and meet societies goals and achieve its aims
      • GP Murdock (1949)
        • the traditional nuclear family of married mum and dad with kids performs 4 essential functions for society:
          • reproduction of the next generation
          • primary socialisation of the young
          • economic support for family members
          • stable satisfaction of the sex drive.
        • CRITICISMS OF MURDOCK
          • reductionist- reduces societies functions to just 4
          • omissive- leaves out other functions
          • deterministic- determines that a nuclear family will ALWAYS perform these 4 functions, which is not the case.
          • Feminists see society as opressive to women
          • marxists argue it meets the needs of capitalism and not society as a whole.
      • Talcott Parsons (1955)
        • Argues there is 2 types of family
          • The Nuclear Family- 2 parents with dependent children
          • extended family- three generations or more living in the same house.
          • Reductionist- omits every other family type e.g. same sex and cohabiting.
        • Functional Fit- the family has to functionally fit the type of society we live in
        • Described the fam as a Warm Bath
    • Marxist views on the family
      • see capitalist society as based on an unequal conflict between two social classes:
        • the capitalist class/ bourgeoisie, who own the means of production.
        • the working class/ proletariat, whose labour the bourgeoisie exploit for profit.
      • believe that social institutions, such as school and media, help maintain class inequality
        • The functions of the family only benefit the capitalist system
      • The Marxist Functions of the Family
        • Inheritance of property
          • high class families are able to stay wealthy by passing down their wealth to their children.
            • ENGELS argued that this made monogamy essential, as wealthy men had to be certain they were passing down their wealth to the right heir.
            • Marxists believe women will only be liberated with the abolition of capitalism.
        • Ideological Function
          • Marxists believe that the family today performs key ideological functions for capitalism.
            • the ideology is ideas and beliefs  passed down to everyone and they are accepted as fair and unchangeble
              • the family is socialised to believe that he hierarchy is factual.
            • Zaretsky- idea that the family provides a nice escape from the harsh realities of society and the working world.
              • 'Haven in a harsh world'
      • argue parents are the 'mouthpiece to capitalism' because they ready us for work.
      • Inheritance of Property
        • capitalism turned women into a 'mere instrument for the reproduction of children'
          • bourgeoisie needed women to pass down wealth to their correct heirs legally.

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