Family is not universal –there are different families.
Families are not biologically driven but socially constructed.
E.g. Lakker tribe in Burma-The mother is just a container, incest is acceptable.
E.g. westernised society –different types of family not just nuclear-single parents?
· Family is viewed positively, good for family members and society.
· The modern nuclear family offers primary socialisation of children in which they learn the values of society.
Sexual function –provides and satisfies the sex drive
Reproductive functions-(not necessarily now, sex out of marriage)
Economic function – provides food and shelter. (not necessarily now, unemployed, money of goverment)
Talcott Parsons-USA 1950’s studied middle class families.
· He said functions have been altered due to government , education ect...
· Society is being taken over and replaced of its functions e.g. natural cures-medicines and drugs.
· Two functions can never be replaced-IRREDUCABLE!
Stabilisation of adult personalities-emotional support.
Primary socialisation of children- getting dressed, potty trained.
“Warm bath theory”- emotional support-mother supports working husband.
New Right Theories
Conservative party-traditional-Don’t like change.
· They condemn homosexuals
· Support nuclear family
· Support Murdock and parsons.
· Spend little money on families to keep rich rich and poor poor.
· The husband is the breadwinner the wife is the home keeper.
The family unit has changed radically.
· We moved from farming-agriculture to mass consumption of industry.
Male and female = two different role models.
SUPPORT MURDOCK on “family ideology”
· Encourage people to get married
· Make it hard for divorce
· Lower tax for married couples
· Cut welfare benefits for single parents.
· The conservatives would expect parents to provide.
Fact: over 80% or single parents are women in Britain.
· Lone parent families
· Fatherless families
· Divorce rates
· Cohabitation- living together outside of marriage.
· Homosexual-Gay and lesbian couples.
-they claim these are leading to the end of the nuclear family.
v The diversity of the family is causing the break down in traditional values.
Fact : 2009- lowest marriage rate
Criticism of new right
· You can’t blame all single mothers- widowed
· Value judgement- judging all families out of the nuclear family
· ‘go back to golden age-Victorian times’-there never was a golden age there has always been problems e.g. Crime.