OVERALL FUNCTIONALIST VIEW ON RELIGION
Functionalism is a theory which see's society as made up of various parts of which work together to keep society functioning properly.
- believe that the family provides the vital needs for society & therefore cannot function without it
-They emphasise the positive role of the family
-Functionalism is a structual theory and see's the individual as less important than society as a whole.
-believes that the nuclear family is the universal and dominant structure as it meets the needs to industrial society.
Parsons view on Family
-Family is beneficial to society, the functions it forms will depends on the needs of society 'Functional Fit'
- Believes that the family evolved out of the industrial revolution.l
-Industrialisation created 2 essential functions for the family;
> Primary socialisation of Children - taught norms and values of society. It is normally the family that helps mould the childs personality in order to fit the needs of society and maintain consensus.
> Stabilisation of adult personalities - "Warm Bath Theory"- Adults need emotional security given by partners in a marraige. Family is a source of stress relief and therefore help stabalize personalities.
- Encourange Social Solidarity (sense of community) and integration (sense of belonging).
Criticisms of Parsons
- Laslett: Most pre-industrial households may have already been nuclear and not extended like Parsons claimed.
-Young + Willmott: Claimed that the hardships of early industrial period led to a rise in 'mum-centred' working class extended family.
- ignores dark side to family (domestic violence has no function in society)
- ignores family diversity
-Saw the family as performing 4 essential functions to meet the needs of society and its members
> Stable satisfaction of the sex drive: to maintain social order and stability and prevent social disruption.
>Reproduction of the next generation: To ensure that society has enough members to survive.
>Socialsation of the young: To ensure that society runs on a consensus, the young need to be taught shared norms and values
>meeting it's members economic needs: The family need to be able to support thier members by bringing home an income
-Argues that nuclear family is universal because of its 'sheer practicality' in performing these functions.
Criticisms + Strengths of Murdock
- Other institutions and family types can carry out these functions.
- Feminists: The family serves the needs of men and oppresses women.
-Marxists: The fanily meets the needs of the capitalists not the needs of family members and society as a whole.
- has a 'rose-tinted' harmonious concensus view.
- Carried out significant research on 250 societies
- Does recognise other family types but lists the practicality of the nuclear family.