Parson's Theory of the Family



-  Parsons' view of the nuclear family being universal is similar to that of Murdock although he differs in suggesting that the nuclear family is more isolated (referred to as the 'privatised nuclear family').

- The nuclear family has two basic and irreducible functions in comparison with extended kinship networks of the early and pre-industrial era.

- The domestic division of labour refers to males and females taking on specific roles based upon biological characteristics.

Functions of the Family

- Parsons based his ideas upon the typical American family of the 1950s, and era of increasing consumption where families looked to other institutions to replace some of the functions of the family.

- Two functions that could not be performed by other institutions include primary socialisation and stabilisation of adult personalities.

Primary Socialisation

- Early socialisation of children into norms and values of society.

- Appropriate behaviours in social situations, core values of society and pro-social behaviours.

- Parents reinforce behaviours that are positive and sanction…


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