Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

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  • Created on: 19-04-13 22:35

Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What are the main themes of the Functionalist Perspective?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

- Family = positive for society and all its members from one generation to next.

- Family = Universal institution

- Males + Females ----> deifferent roles in the family

- Isolated nuclear family = Suitable for Industrila society - small and mobile

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What did Murdock's study (1949) involve and conclude?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

- Study on 250 different societies

- Argued Family = universal as it's the best way of adjusting to Societys basic needs

- Family performs 4 basic Function:

1) Sexual

2) Reproductive

3) Educational

4) Economic 

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What did Parsons (1959) study involve and conclude?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

- Based on modern societies

- The family performs 2 basic and irreducible functions:

1) Primary socialisation of children

2) Stabalisation of adult personalities

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What are the possible criticisms of the functionalist perspective?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

- Concentrates on harmony and ignores conflicts within the family ( Marxist) 

- Conservative view which defends the status quo - the way things are - doesn not allow for any change (Marxist) 

- Family = Not universal (New world Black Family, Kibbutz etc)

- It's becoming a minority in many societies 

- Family fulfills needs of society rather than the needs of its members (Marxist)

- The functionalist view of women's role within a family justifies oppression (feminists)

-The nuclear Family produces problems and misery as well as harmony e.g domestic violence (Feminists, Radical Psychiatrists)

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What are the main themes of the Marxist Perspective?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

- Unlike functionalism, Marxism emphasises conflict and inequalities - in paticular the dominance of the economy 

- Family = determined by economic system - modern society - capitalism

- Early communal society -----> Family not needed - only became necessary with accumalation of wealth and the need to defend it (Engels) 

- Workers socialised by the family into discipline and the 'correct' attitudes of of obedience and conformity

- Family acts as a safety valve -a release from alienation and oppression at work thus allowing oppression to continue

- Family acts as an ideological state apparatus - defending status quo, patriarchy and power ----> role of women = absorb husbands frustrations and maintain the worker

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What are the possible criticisms of the Marxist Perspective?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

- Presumes a nuclear family unit - dosen't take into account other households

- Too based on modern society - variations worldwide

- Too biased and negative - from an ideological position that condems the family as an agency of capitalist values

- The family serves the interests of men and patriarchy as well as capitalism (feminists)

- Too deterministic ----> assumes dominance of economy 

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What are the main themes of feminist approaches?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

- Feminists see other views as too 'malestream' (Abbott and Wallace)

- Family life = very different for women and is a source of male control

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What do Marxist Feminists say?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

- Belive women are oppressed by BOTH Capitalism AND patriarchy

- Argue wives produce and socialise new workers thus producing more profit for economy

- Women don't only provide unpaid role but also provide a 'reserve army of labour'

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What do Liberal Feminists say?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

- Claim power relations and division of labour within a marriage have become more equal ----> because of changes in women's work patterns(law and changing values)

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What do radical feminists say?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

- Oppression of women result of male dominance through biology and physical strength. View the nuclear family as based and supporting male power (Firestone)

- Socialisation of women into mother/housewife = oppression

- Historically & in other cultures women = more independent -men and industrialisation that put them in the home

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What are the criticisms of the feminist perspective?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

- Focus on negative aspects of family life

- Feminists assume families have a male haed who dominates the rest

- New right claim feminists undermine traditional family values

- In recent years, women gained more choices. Family life now more diverse.

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What are the main ideas of the postmodern perspective?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

- Stresses the pluralism, diversity and fragmentation of modern life.

- Isn't one dominant, most common or correct type of family.

- Can be nor form of 'normal' family - Nuclear family = fragmeted

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What do feminists think about the postmodern view of the family?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

Force of liberation

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What do Functionalists think about the postmodern perspective on the family?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

Source of chaos

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What did Giddens suggest about the postmodernist ideas?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

More reflexive approach to modern life

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

What are possible criticisms of the post modern approach?

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Sociology Theoretical perspectives on the family

Some see approach as an 'intellectual cul-de-sac'

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