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Functionalists perspective on the
· The functionalist have a consensus
· They believe the family is universal and
perform functions which are essential for
individuals within society.…read more

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George Peter Murdock (1949)
· Identified 4 functions of the family they were
1. Sexual
· With same partner, preventing social disruption caused by
a sexual `free-for-all'
2. Economic
· Family being able to meet the needs of their family by
providing them with essentials such as food and shelter.
3. Reproductive
· Without it society wouldn't continue
4. Educative
· Society shared norms and values…read more

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A02 - Criticisms of Murdock
· Feminists ­ see family as serving the needs of
men and oppressing women
· Marxist ­ argue that it meets needs if
capitalism not family members or society as a
whole…read more

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Talcott Parsons (1995)
· Argues that the family are the heart of society
· Came up with organic analogy. He said society was like
the human body and the heart of society, the family is
the heart. If the heart fails so does the rest of the body
(just like society
· Believes there are two `basic' and `irreducible'
functions which are primary socialisation and the
stabilisation of adult personalities
· Argue that their are too essential needs which are; A
geographically mobile workforce and a socially mobile
· Came up with the warm bath theory…read more

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Two essential functions Parsons
identified are;
1. The primary socialisation of children
· Equip children with the basic skills and society
valued they need in order to enable them to
cooperate with others in a polite manner and to
integrate them into society.
2. The stabilisation of adult personalities
· Family is a place in which adults can relax and
release any tensions they have. This enables them
to return to a workplace ready to meet demands,
this is functional for the efficient of the economy.…read more

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