Sociology G672 - The role of the Family

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  • Created by: Laura
  • Created on: 16-05-11 19:57

Functionalist view of the family
- Financial and educational support.
- Provide a sense of belonging.
- Reduce anti-social behaviour.
- (Murdoch 1949) 4 functions of the family; educational, economic, sexual and reproductive.
- (Parsons 1955) 2 functions of the family; socialisation of children, stabilisation of adult personalities.
- (Parsons and Goode) Warm bath theory - The family relieve the stressors of the breadwinner and provides family security. This is good for wider society as the male is not always ill.
- (Parsons) Division of labour - men take on instrumental roles, women take on emotional roles
- Social order is considered to be vital
- 'Fit thesis' (Parsons) - The family had to adapt to the changing needs of society through industrialisation, e.g. a geographically mobile workforce - easy for a standard nuclear family than older extended family members to move locations. This changed the structure of the nuclear family and it's functions.

Marxist view of the family
- The family are units of consumption that purchase false needs
- (Engels) Men need to know that their wealth is being passed down to their sons, therefore a monogamous marriage is needed. Maintains male power through inheritance.
- (Zaretsky) The family keeps capitalism going. It provides a safety valve where male workers feel they have power and control in the home, to help their oppression at work and lower the risk of them going on strike.
- (Marx) 4 main points; family reproduces both labour and ideology, women act as a reserve of army labour, family is a haven away from alienation and exploitation within the workforce…


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