Contrasting views on functions of the family

different perspectives on functions of the family

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: joti
  • Created on: 27-04-12 12:51

Functionalist view

Sex, marriage and reproduction- provides sexual needs for partners and produces the next generation

Socialisation and social control- Passes on shared 'correct' culture and prepares children for adult roles

Economic and welfare- Division of labour helps organise family life due to different gender capabilities

Stabilisation- loving relationship= secutirty, support etc--. a haven from outside world


Only looks at positive, assumes it benefits all, doesn't recognise diversity, ignores interaction between child and parents

Shows how important family is to social life, emphasises continuity, strong ideological hold on individuals

1 of 5

Marxist view

Sex, marriage and reproduction- Monogomy-> transmitt private property

Socialisation and social control- Suppress individuality= compliant workforce

Stabilisation- Private life helps remove anger of capitalism

Economic and welfare- Unit of consumption, responsibilty keeps men working


Only looks as effects of capitalism, doens'y explain similarities between capitalist and non-capitalist societies

Identified a source for gender inequality- later proved by theories, shows relationship between capitalism and family

2 of 5

Marxist-Feminist view

Sex, marriage and reproduction-Gives men power over women, reproduces labour force to follow

Socialisation and social control- children learn to accept social heirachy

Sabilisation- Wives are a 'safety valve' for men, who then vent on them about work

Economic and welfare- Women are a free reserve army of labour


Doesn't explain womens subordination before capitalism, Many women like this role

Identifies women expolitation in families, shows that the family is a social construction and is an ideology

3 of 5

Radical feminist view

Sex, marriage and reproduction-Patriarchy= sex control and domestic violence, women handicapped by biology

Socialisation and social control- Age patriarchy subordinates them

Sabilisation- Ansley 'takers of ****'

Economic and welfare- Labour division allows patriarchy, housewife is a low status position


Ignores positive side of family, anti-men doesn't reflect reality, ignores class, ethnicity etc, assumes gender unites women

Housework IS real work, shows true D.V, challenges young and willmott, introduces issues such as power, ethnicity, gender in the family

4 of 5

Liberal Feminist view

Sex, marriage and reproduction-Men benefit (health), fathers hould have right to children too

Socialisation and social control- Creates inflexible genders

Sabilisation- Females express annoyance with marriage= more divorces

Economic and welfare- womens potential limited by mens needs,  housewives become sick


Attempts to bring equality without changing social structures, too soft thinking, doesn't recognise all-pervasive nature of patriarchy

Helps understand sex role socialisation, see's men also need to be free, aims for gradual relistic changes

5 of 5


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Families and households resources »