Fuctionalist view of Family

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  • Created by: pripriaj
  • Created on: 19-02-16 21:09


Functionalism is a macro theory (they look at society as a whole)

Their Beliefs:

  • Everyone is socialised the same way so that we can live in harmony, society is based on consensus,this means to agree  on how to behave - known as norms, what is wrong or right - values.
  • Society is a structure with interconnected parts. All different parts of society have to work together in order to maintain society. this links to their theory of Organic Analogy-Functionalists compare society to the human body- all parts of the body work together to maintain the body and keep people alive/ functioning.
  • The family, education system and law work together to maintain society.

Functionalist view of the family

The family plays a postive role in society. They are the centre of harmony,providing protection for its members from the rest of society.

Functionalists take a evolutionary view of the family and say the family has evolved to suit the needs of an industrial society and the family that is most functional is the Nuclear family - this is called the March of Progress approach.

There are two main functionalist theorists: Murdock (1949) and Parsons (1955)

Murdock (1949) believes that the family plays four functions in society. These are as follows:

Socialisation: Teaching the children the norms and values of society from one generation to…


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