Marxism and the Family.

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  • Created by: Sam
  • Created on: 17-04-14 12:28

Marxism and the Family

Marxists arue = the key factor determining the shape of all social institutions (includes the family) is the mode of production. 

  • Mode of Production-  the type of society e.g. capitalist, feudal.
  • As the mode of production changes, so does the family. 

Family evolves through changes to the nuclear family. It developed along the introduction on privat property. Nuclear family solves problem with inheritance of property

  • Property owned by males
  • There needed to be a legitmate heir to their property. 
  • Greater contol over women was needed, no doubt over paternty of children. 
  • Nuclear family was a efficient way to do this. 

Marxists also argue that the family perfoms ideoological funtions for capitalism. E.g socialising children in to belief that heirarchy is inevitable. 

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Marxism and the Family

Family also plays a major role in gernerating profit for capitalist society. 

  • advertising encourages families to 'keep up with Joneses' 
  • media targets children to use 'pester power' 
  • children who haven't got the lastest products are mocked by peers.


  • The family acts as a 'haven' from harsh capitalist society. 
  • Mainly a illusion. 


  • Marxists assume nuclear family is dominant, ignores family diversity.
  • Feminists: emphasis and class and capitalism ignores gender inequality in the family. 
  • Functionalists: the benefits of the family are ignored. 
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