- Defines the family: 'family is a social group characterised by common residence, economic and reprdocution. It contains adults of both sexes and 1 or more kids'
- It performs 4 functions:
Stabilisation of the sex drive, Reproduction of the next generation, Socialisation of the young and meeting economic needs.
- Criticsed: These functions can be performed by other insitutions., Feminists: family serves men not women, Marxists: meets capitalism needs not family members
- Functions performed by the family depend on the society. e.g: Extended fitted pre-industrial society but nucelar family = industrial. Industrial sociey has 2 needs: geographically mobile workforce and socially mobile workforce.
- The nucelar family lost its functions to the workplace, schools etc
- Modern nucealr family specialised in performing 2 functions fo rthe family: primary socialisation and stabilisation of adult personalities.
- Criticsed: Y+W: pre industrail society = nuclear not extended - supported by Laslett: who used census records
- Y+W and Anderson: Extended family best fits needs of industrial society and so the family become extended and exists today due ot its functions it performs.
- See capitalist society as based on unequal conflict between 2 classes; working and ruling.
- All off societies institutions inc. the family, help maintain class inequality and capitalism.
- Functions of the family are performed for benefit of capitalist society:
- 1) Inheritance of property - Engles
- 2) Ideological functions - Zaretsky (teaching kids basic rules for home and future work)
- 3) Unit of consumption (pester power)
- Criticism: Marixsts assume the nuclear family is dominant and ignores the other functions HOWEVER functionalists: argue they ignore the benefits of the family. Feminists argues they ignore importance of gender
Feminism - overview
- Family oppres the womrn e.g: unequal D.O.L.
- Gender inequality is not natural but made by society - criticsed by Parsons: its natural
Feminism - liberal
Feminism - Liberal:
- We are moving towards greater equality
- Attitudes and socialisation have lead to changes in laws etc e.g: gender inequality.
- This laws is making the family more equal
Feminism - Marxists
Feminism - Marxists:
- Capitalism is the main cause of women's oppression in the family.
- Family performs functions for capitalism:
- 1) Reproduces labour force (women socialise next working generation)
2) Absorbing men's anger (wives soak husbands anger from the exploiation from work)
- 3) Reserve army of cheap labour (When they are no longer needed they carry on domestic role)
- To make the family equal we must overthrow capitalism and need a classless society.
Feminism - Radical
Feminism - Radical
- Men are the enemy, family and marriage are the key institution's in a patriarchal society.
- Family = main cause of oppression e.g: Divison of labour
- Women need to live seperatly from men to gain equality = Greer - women should become political lesbians
- Criticsed: Sommerville: ignore ethnic and class inequalities. Liberal feminists: they ignore the progress of the family so far
Feminism - Difference
Feminism - Difference:
- Women have different experiences of the family so we can't generalise for exmaple
- White vs Black
- Middle Class vs Working Class
- Gay vs Straight
- They criticse all feminists
- Conserative view of the family.
- Family is based on:
- 1) Biological D.O.V (family has a D.O.V between male breadwinner and female homemaker. Nucelar family with segregated conjual roles = best place to socialise kids)
- 2) Families need to be self-reliant (Relying on state welfare creates a dependency culture which undermines gender roles)