Marxist's perspective on the Family

marxism and the family

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  • Created by: Melissa
  • Created on: 21-01-12 12:41

Marxist Functions of the Family

  • Ideological function - Althusser - family teaches children ideals of capitalism - be good workers, dont question authority, obedience. Family is part of the IDEOLOGICAL STATE APPARATUS. Zaretsky - the family seems like an escape from capatilism - this is an illusion
  • Inheritance of property - Engels- nuclear family is a way to be sure of legitimate heirs. Women are little more than prostitutes, proving sex and heirs for economic security
  • Unit of comsumption - Zaretsky - work hard to provide their family with the best things - children's pester power- fuelling capatilism - ideological function


  • Engel's description of how the family developed may not be historically accurate and is old fashioned
  • Assumes everyone in society has a nuclear family - forgets diversity
  • The family is a place of warmth and love - escape from capitilism
  • Feminists argue the family serves the interests of men, not capitalism
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