Sociology- Families and Households

  • Created by: allybongo
  • Created on: 01-06-19 11:27


Studied 250 societies, found the nuclear family is universal.

Nuclear Family:

- economic cooperation

- reproduction

-common residence

He believed the nuclear family had four basic functions; sex, reproduction, economic and educational.

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Families functions:

- Primary socialization

- Stabilization of the adult personality

Role Allocation

- Women have an expressive role

- Men have the instrumental role

The sharing of roles ensure family stability.

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- Breakdown of the nuclear family

- Culture of dependency

- Individualism is good, with minimal state intervention

- Underclass families are deviant

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The monogamous, nuclear family was developed because of Capitalism. When properties began to be owned by individuals rather than the whole community, these people wanted to give their wealth to heirs. This meant monogamy was the best way to know which child belonged to whom.

Capitalist owners also needed their workers to be looked after, so this fell to the wives to do the unpaid domestic labour.

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The family is a private sphere that provides workers relief from capitalism. This means it prevents an uprising and therefore props up the capitalist system and performs an ideological function.

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Sees the family as an ideological state apparatus, socializing people into accepting capitalism and its oppression. The family teaches values such as obedience, authority and different roles for men and women.

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Delphy and Leonard

- Men benefit most from exploiting women, not capitalism.

- Men dominate, women are subordinate.

- The man makes all the final decisions.

- Women are forced to serve men sexually and physically.

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Dobash and Dobash

Most domestic abuse occurs in marriage, because the woman is depending on the man and this gives them power.

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Housework is tough and unrewarding, men benefit the most from it. Women now do both work and housework- dual burden.

Criticizes Young and Willmott, says that men only had to help once a week to be counted in the study and that this is not equal.

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Young and Willmott

- Found that a symmetrical family was emerging

- Household tasks being shared more equally

- Technology has made housework easier for women

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Believes that power relationships are changing and that there is an emergence of 'the pure relationship.' There is a negotiation between partners, rather than a dominant male making all the decisions.

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There was no childhood before the industrial revolution. It is socially constructed. Children were seen as mini-adults.

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Blurring lines between adulthood and childhood in late modernity/post-modernity.

Technology exposes young people to inappropriate content.

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Toxic parenting- technology has changed how parents bring up their children. For example, rather than doing activities with them, they are just left to watch television.

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