Zaretsky's Theory of the Family



- Marxist perspective of the role of the family in the modern era.

- Family has changed from being a unit of production to a unit of consumption.

- The family provides a 'safe haven' from the alienating effects of capitalism.

- The family unit props up the capitalist system.

The Family as a Unit of Consumption

- In the pre-industrial era, the family was a unit of production with all family members engaged in activities that contributed to family income.

- In the industrial era, urbanisation meant that families would often have to consume goods rather than produce them.

- Workers would labour in exchange for wages that would allow them to buy the goods and services that they required.

- In contemporary society, families are rarely involved in production and are more likely to be consumers of food, clothing, technological products and home furnishings.

- This reinforces the need for labour in order to purchase new goods and services, particularly if others have them.

- The changes in childhood means that children are no longer seen as an economic asset but rather an economic liability.

The Family as a Safe


No comments have yet been made