Marxists View on the Family

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The Superstructure of Society

The Superstructure of Society

This is where the ruling class gain power from owning the means of production and use it to control the non-economic institutions of the superstructure such as family, media, religion, gonvernement etc.

This has an impact of the values, attitudes and beliefs of the society as a whole.

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The Economic Base

The Economic Base

This is the means of production - land, maschinery, capital, labour and power - are the basis on which wealth is produced for the bourgeoisie.

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Marxist View

The family socialises children to be obedient and hard-working

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Children accepting a hierartchy in the family prepares them for the hierarchy of work.

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Therefore the family supports capatalism.

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Marxist View 1.2

The family is privatised

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This keeps people separte and stops the labour force from uniting and adopiting more community living

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Therefore the family supports capatalism

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Nicos Poulatzas

Nico Poulantzas (1969) believes

"The family is part of the superstructure of society and is an example of ideological state apparatues.

It is used by the ruling class to spread their preferred valuses, beliefs and ideas. These support capatalism and maintain the powerful position of the ruling class."

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Frederick Engels

Frederick Engels (1884) stated:

"Marriage is a way to ensure a mans children are biologically his and, therefore, the rightful heirs to his property. The traditional family supports capitalism.

The male-headed family should be abolished and women should be allowed to join the labour force. Children should be socialised by the state and all 'housework' should be done by members of the community who are paid for their labour.

Couples should only stay together in a marriage if they want to."

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Eli Zaretsky

Eli Zaretsky (1976) claimed that;

"The family supports capitalism because:

  • Womens unpaid domestic labour supports men who work and socialises children in to following orders.
  • Work is unfulfilling so people focus on buying things to make thier lives seem better.
  • Men then have to work harder to be able to afford the material possessions.
  • People are trapped in a cycle of cospicious consumption which puts men under pressure to make money and women under pressure to maintain a beautiful home.
  • These worries stop the proletariat from achieving class consciousness."
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