Functions of the family

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What do functionalists believe is the definition of the family?
It is the basic building block of society as it fulfills the role of primary socialization.
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Functionalists believe in organic analogy, what is this?
They see society as being like a biological organism. The body is made up of different parts that function together to meet needs and maintain it. Society is made up of different but interdependent parts and each part contributes to maintain society.
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What does Murdock (functionalist) state as the four functions of the family?
1. Stable satisfaction of sex drive. 2. Reproduction of next generation. 3. Socialization of the young. 4. Satisfaction of members' economic needs.
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State some criticisms of Murdock.
Other institutions and families can carry out the same functions, he has a 'rose tinted' harmonious view on society (ignores dark side) and feminists argue that the family serves the needs of men and oppresses women.
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What is Parsons' (1955) (Functionalist) 'functional fit' theory?
He argues that the kinds and range of functions that the family performs depends on the type of society in which it is found. There is an extended family and a nuclear family.
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What does he (Parsons) say are the two key needs of the nuclear family in a modern industrial society?
Geographical mobility and social mobility.
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He (Parsons) also states that the family has only two 'irreducible functions'. What does he mean by this?
The family only has two essential functions. 1. Primary Socialisation. 2. Stabilisation of adult personalities.
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State some criticisms of Parsons.
Young and Willmott (1973) and Laslett (1972)- The pre-industrial family was nuclear and not extended. Also, the extended family has not disappeared.
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What are the two classes that Marxists believe society is divided into?
The bourgeoisie own the means of production (factories). The proletariat own only their labour which they are forced to sell to the capitalists in return for wages. The family is seen as an oppressive institution that only performs functions.
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What are the three functions that the family fulfills for capitalism?
1. Inheritance of property. 2. Ideological functions. 3. Unit of consumption.
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Engels and many other Marxists believe in the patriarchal monogamous nuclear family. Discuss.
They believe that monogamy is essential because of inheritance of property- men had to be certain of the paternity of their children, women are a 'mere instrument for the reproduction of children'.
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How does the family help the bourgeoisie provide for the needs of capitalism?
Fit and well fed workers, 'safety valve', consumers to buy products, 'haven' where workers are looked after, two workers for the price of one (woman socialises children and the male works).
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Evaluate the Marxists perspective of the family.
S-Acknowledges the dark-side of the family. W-Make assumptions on the nature of society. S-Explores the role of 'oppressive ideologies'. W-Many do not experience that family s oppressive.
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What do Liberal Feminists such as Jenny Somerville (2000) believe about the family?
They believe that women's oppression is gradually being overcome and we are moving towards greater equality but full equality depends on further reforms. Studies have suggested that men are now doing more domestic labour and parents are
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What do Liberal Feminists such as Jenny Somerville (2000) believe about the family? (2)
socialising there sons and daughters equally.
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State some criticisms of Liberal Feminism.
They fail to understand that in any society that is unequal in its economic and social structure equality of opportunity is meaningless, some argue that even if women are dependent upon individual men, they are still dependent on a patriarchal state
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What do Marxist Feminists argue about the family?
They argue that the main cause of women's oppression is capitalism. Women perform several functions for capitalism: 1. Reproduce labour force. 2. Absorb anger. 3. 'reserve army of cheap labour'.
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State some criticisms of Marxist Feminism.
Too much emphasis on class relations, overthrowing capitalism does not seem very likely to occur so the solution to female exploitation seems unuseful.
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What do Radical Feminists such as Germaine Greer believe about the family?
They believe that all societies have been founded by patriarchy. They believe that men are the enemy and that the family is one of the key institutions in a patriarchal society.
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State some criticisms of Radical Feminism.
Women may not have a shared interest in being desperate from men, overlook how the position of women has changed drastically overtime.
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How do Radical Feminists believe that oppression can be overturned?
They believe that by abolishing the family, patriarchy will be abolished. This can be done through seperatism and the creation of 'matrilocal' households.
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What do Difference Feminists believe about the family?
It is a Postmodern branch of feminism which states we cannot generalise about a woman's experience as if they are all from a conventional nuclear family. Black feminists argue that white feminists neglect black women's experience of radicaloppression
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State some criticisms of Difference Feminism.
Too broad, fail to recognise that society still desires to live within a nuclear family, no key ideas or solutions.
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State the key New Right concepts related to family.
Family values, Free-Market, Welfare dependency, Underclass, cycle of deprivation and dependency culture.
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Why does Charles Murray (New Right) see the nuclear family as superior to other family structures?
He says that there is 'no alternative family structure that comes close to the merits of two parents who are formally married'. He believes that the man should be the 'centre of life' in the family and socialisation is lacking in female families.
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State some criticisms of the New Right.
Can get Underclass in nuclear families, people who grow up with parents on benefits won't necessarily want to be when they're older, families broke down before welfare.
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What are the two main features that postmodernists believe today's society?
1. Fragmentation of culture and lifestyles- more choice, construct their own families. 2. Rapid change- Life is less predictable and orderly, can change to different family types in their lifetime.
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What does Stacey (postmodernist) say about the family?
We are discovering the postmodern family, no right or wrong types of family, wide variety of family ideology, different family types in a persons' life-cycle.
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State some criticisms of postmodernism.
It is too broad, over emphasises the choice that people can have.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Functionalists believe in organic analogy, what is this?

Back

They see society as being like a biological organism. The body is made up of different parts that function together to meet needs and maintain it. Society is made up of different but interdependent parts and each part contributes to maintain society.

Card 3

Front

What does Murdock (functionalist) state as the four functions of the family?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

State some criticisms of Murdock.

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is Parsons' (1955) (Functionalist) 'functional fit' theory?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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