The Symmetrical Family


The Symmetrical Family

Functionalism - a consensus perspective that sees society as based upon shared values in which members are socialised. It sees sociey as like an organism, each part performing function s ot maintain the system as a whole, e.g. the family and education system perform socialisation functions

Parsons (1955)

  • Insturmental role - the breadwinner or provider in the family. Functionalists see this as the man's role.
  • Expressive role - the caring, nuturing, homemaker role in the family. Functionalists argue that women are biologically more suited to performing this role, something rejected by feminists

Conjugal roles - where the couple have seperate roles, e.g. a male breadwinner and a female housemaker/carer (as…


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