Unit 1 Familes and Households

As Sociology, families and households revision notes.

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  • Created by: Paige
  • Created on: 07-05-11 14:36

What is the family

Basic family types- Nuclear family, extended family, household, single-parent, reconstituted,same-sex.

All relate and depend of social class and ethnic background.
Families are a universal concept.

Murdock-Functionalist-Families perform 4 functions:
-sexual, -reproductive, -economic, -educational

Family-a group of people who live together and are relatede by blood or kinship ties. E.g Nuclear family

Household-a group of people who live together but are not related by blood or kinship ties. E.g Student housing

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Functionalism-Rosey view of the world

  • Favour nuclear families
  • Society works best when it works together
  • Positive about the family and society
  • The family benefits everyone
  • They are socially constructed

Parsons The male is the instrumental leader-suited to work and being the economic breadwinner. The female is the expressive leader-dependent wife suited to caring, home making and child rearing.

Parsons In modern society more and more specialised institutions have evolved=structural differentiation. E.g. NHS,sure start, nursing homes-replace the family.

Fletcher says these institutions work with the family.
Remaining functions:Primary socialisation of children and stabilisation of adult personalities.

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New Right

New Right-Simular to Functionalism but more critical

  • Societys not to blaim, individuals are
  • Critical of diversity
  • Critical of single parent families-children need male and female role model,cost too much on state benefits
  • Encourage only nuclear families
  • The family is the basis of society
  • Conservative and traditional
  • Males should be breadwinners, women should be homemakers

Aggainst-cohabitation, divorce, diversity, same sex couples. As a result nuclear family is decreasing.
Murray Britain developing an underclass

  • break down in traditional values
  • over generous welfare benefits
  • influence of feminism-devaluing marriage
  • secularisation-decline in religious importance
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Marxism-conflict theorists, challange other theories

  • Society maintains the power triangle
  • Society controls people like puppets
  • Believe we are born into positions in society
  • Family ensure the split is kept between classes
  • People have very little free will

Institutions such as; economy,education and the media are the governments way of moulding the individual to the way they want people to be.

Capitalism is an economic system based on profit and money. Marxists see the family as crucial in transmitting ideas and beliefs that maintain the capitalist sytem. The family trains children to be workers and allows them to fir neatly into society. 

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Feminism-Conflict theorists that challange all other theories

Liberal femisists-

  • Positive
  • March of progress
  • Believe its up to women to challange gender inequalities
  • Challange gender stereotyping in primary education
  • See no need for political or social revolution

Marxist feminists-

  • Women are reserve army of cheap labour
  • Beleive capitalism rules society and women are at the bottom
  • Reject liberal feminists optimism
  • Women allow inequality through the way they socialise their children
  • Family must be abolished?

Radical feminists-

  • All female oppression is fue to rule by men
  • Patriarchy has always existed, and it benefits all types of males
  • Family is key to allowing patriarchy
  • Women are there to benefit men
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