Sociology Revision Cards

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Families & Households

  • A family is people who live together who are related
    - most commonly a kinship (related by blood) e.g. children, parents
    - may also be non-kinship (not related by blood) e.g. step parents, stepchildren, inlaws
     
  • A house hold is peple who live together but may not neccessarily be related 

  • Families make up the majority of households but there are other types - such as students/friends living together.  
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Types of Family

Nuclear Families

  • 2 generations
  • Married heterosexual couple
  • Dependant children 

Extended Families

  • 3 or more generations living together/close by
  • Frequent contact between grandparents/grandchildren/aunts/uncles/cousins

Lone Parent Families

  • One single parent with dependant children

Reconsituted Families

  • Step families 
  • 2 previous families brought together by married/cohabition
  • At least one of the couple have dependant children from the previous relationship
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Functionalists

Consensus theory

  • See every institution in society as essential for smooth running of society
  • The family is the most important institution in society
  • Family is a positive thing 
  • Functionalists believe that women should stay at home and do the housework and raise children and men are the breadwinners and are the ones who should go out to work

Murdock

  • Looked at 250 different societies and found that the nuclear family was universal
  • He came up with the theory that the family peforms 4 basic functions:
    1) Sexual - the family provides a stable sexual relationship for adults
    2) Reproductive - the family reproduces to produce the next generation
    3) Economic - the family provides resources and support for all it's members
    4) Educational - the family teaches children the norms and values of society 
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Functionalists

Parsons

  • Parsons thought the family has 4 vital functions:
    1) Primary socialisation - teaching children the norms and values of their society 
    2) Stabilisation of adult personalities - the family provides a stable and comforting environment, as well as providing emotional support and a sanctuary from everyday life

Critisisms 

  • Functionalists are critised for ignoring the dark side of the family
    - child abuse and domestic violence
  • Ignores conflict within the families 
    - not everyone gets on with their family

  • Promotes the exploitation of women and doesnt give them a choice 
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Marxism

CONFLICT THEORY

  • Marxists also see the family as peforming essential roles in society 
    - however marxists argue this is for the benefit of capatalism
  • Marxists think the family only benefits the ruling class and is a disadvantage to the working class.
  • Family meets the needs of a capatalist society

Engles

  • Family was a good thing in the past - males knew who his children were in order to pass on inheritence to his children.
  • Family is now a unit of consumption 
    - family buys goods for more than it cost the manafacturer to produce them                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

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Marxism

Zaretsky

  • Familty is a place for the working man to escape the harshness of capatalism 
    - man takes the stresses of work out on his wife

Critisisms

  • Marxists are critised for being too negative 
  • Completely focused on the benefits to the economy
    -ignores benefits to the individual
  •  Assumes males are the breadwinner and females are housewives
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Feminists

  • Feminists believe the family exploits and oppresses women 
     
  • Family helps to maintain the existing social order
    -patriachy - combination of systems, ideologies and cultural practises - all    ensure that men have power

  • Family supports and reproduces inequalities 

  • Women are oppressed - socialised to be dependant on men

  • Ideology about mens roles and womens roles in the family 
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Types of Feminists

Marxist Feminists 

  • Explotiation of women is essential to success of capatalism

  • Men are paid for work outside the home but women are not paid for work in the home
    - if women were paid for work in the home it would damage    capatalism greatly - Benston

Radical Feminists

  • Exploitation of women is because of the domination of men in society 

  • Men opress women

  • Family is a patriachal institution  
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Types of Feminists

Liberal Feminists 

  • Cultural norms and values are reinforced by the family  

  • Liberal feminists believe that social change is possible

  • They try to change society by using policies and laws  

Critisisms 

  • Feminists portray women as too passive 
    - shows women as unable to make changes and how to improve their situation 

  • Doesn't acknowledge that power may be shared within a family

  •  Doesn't consider households in society that don't include a man

  • Doesn't point out that women from different ethnic backgrounds have different life experiences 
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The New Right

  • New Right think the nuclear family is the bedrock of society 
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Comments

Shannon

Thank you so much for these! 

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