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SCLY Families and Households [REVISION GUIDE]


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SCLY Families and Households [REVISION GUIDE]

Key definitions:

A family is usually a group of people related by marriage or blood.

A household is a person living alone or a group of people living together who
may or may not be related.


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SCLY Families and Households [REVISION GUIDE]

Theories of the
From the specification:

The relationship of the family to the social structure and social change

Functionalist views: the importance of the nuclear family, the universality of the family,
changing functions, how the nuclear family `fits' modern society.
Marxist views: the…

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Socialisation of the young into the needs of capitalism, not those of family
society's shared norms and values. members or society as a whole.
Meeting its members' economic
needs, such as shelter and food.

Talcott Parsons: the functions of the Evaluation
Parsons believes…

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Overall evaluation of functionalist theories
1. Functionalist analyses of the nuclear family tend to be based on middle class and
American versions of the family and they consequently neglect other influences such
as ethnicity, social class or religion. For example, Parsons does not consider…

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Zaretsky: how the family benefits Evaluation
Zaretsky suggests that the family serves However, the liberal feminist Jennifer
capitalism by offering emotional security from Somerville argues that Zaretsky exaggerates
the oppressive world of work, thus allowing the importance of the family as a refuge…

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family primarily serves the interests of
men rather than capitalism.

By contrast, functionalists argue that
Marxists ignore the very real benefits
that the family provides for its
members, such as intimacy and
mutual support.

From an interpretivist point of view,
Marxists tend to neglect…

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Marxist feminist Evaluation
Marxistfeminists suggest that the nuclear However, difference feminists would criticise
family meets the needs of capitalism for the Marxist feminists for assuming that all women
reproduction and maintenance of class and are exploited equally under capitalism. For
patriarchal inequality. It benefits…

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Overall evaluation of Feminist theories
Feminist theories of the family have dated fairly badly, because they fail to account for
recent economic and social changes, such as the feminisation of the economy, the
educational success of young females, women's use of divorce and many…

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Social Policy
Although sociologists agree that social policy can have an important influence on family
life, they hold different views about what kinds of effects it has and whether these are
desirable. We shall examine a range of different sociological views or perspectives on…


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