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Talcott Parsons (1902-1979)
Parsons asserts that the nuclear family is beneficial to society.
The family evolved out of the industrial revolution.
Industrialisation created two essential functions performed by families:
1. Primary socialisation of children= taught norms and values of society. It
is normally the family that help mould the child's personality in order to
fit the needs of society.
2. Stabilisation of adult personalities= "warm bath theory." Adult need
emotional security given by partners in a marriage. Family is a source of
stress release.
Encourages social solidarity (sense of community) and social integration
(sense of belonging)…read more

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G.P Murdock (1897-1985)
Argued the nuclear family has always existed and is
universal because it performs 4 basic essential
functions:
1. Sexual - regulation of sexual conduct
2. Reproductive - produces new society members
3. Economic ­ adult members bring home an income
to support their family- food, shelter, clothing etc.
4. Education ­ teaching children the norms and
values of society.…read more

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Criticisms of the Functionalist
Parsons do not consider the diversity of family types.
Even within one society, there are variations based on
class, religion, ethnicity, religion etc.
Argue that the nuclear family equal benefits individual
and society. But Marxists argue that society is shaped by
the needs of the capitalist economy and that the family
exists to serve these needs rather than those of its
members.
Focus on the positive functions of the family and give little
consideration to its disadvantages, i.e. domestic violence.…read more

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Marxism
Based on ideas of Karl Marx (1818-83).
System we live in (capitalism) divides
everyone in two different class
bourgeoisie (ruling class) and proletariat
(working class).
Ruling class benefit in every way from
society, and working class are exploited.
Structuralist theory- individual is seen less…read more

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Fail to notice the inequalities and exploitation which
are the norm of society.
Argue that this society oppress women
1. Provide free domestic labour.
2. Expressive leader- emotional carer to family
members, alleviate the strains and frustration of
work.
Working class families encourage to pursue false
needs in the form of the latest consumer goods.
Families stresses the idea that the main route to
success and high status is based on material
possessions.…read more

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