LT3-Functions/Roles/ Purpose of the Family

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  • Created on: 23-03-15 20:01
Overall, how do functionalists view the family?
Structural consensus view- They see the family (especially nucleur) in positive terms, performing vital functions for individuals and society as a whole,
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How does Murdock view the nucleur family?
As universal and ideally suited for performing functions,
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What 4 functions did Murdock suggest the nucleur family do?
-Stable satisfaction of the sex drive, -Reproduction, -Primary socialisation, -Economic needs,
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Describe Murdock's view on the stable satisfaction of the sex drive?
He suggests the sexual needs of individuals are satisfied with the stability of the same partner,
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How does the stable satisfaction of the sex drive benefit society?
As it make the prospect of sex related crimes such as **** or domestic abuse less likely,
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Describe Murdock's view on reproduction as a function?
Families produce future generations of children,
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How does reproduction benefit society?
As it allows society to continue with more generations and to keep the population high,
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Describe Murdock's view on primary socialisation and its benefit to society?
Transmitting shared norms and values (consensus) to children, which allow for a harmonious and stable society with a decrease in crime rates,
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Describe Murdock's view on economic needs and its benefit to society,
Families provide for the material well-being of its members e.g. food and shelter so less money is taken for the Government's benefit system,
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However what is a criticism of Murdock's views?
It ignores the negative aspects (dysfunctions) of family life- families can have a 'dark side' that involves conflict, inequality, oppression and abuse,
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What did Parsons believe were the three current functions of the family?
-Unit consumption, -Primary socialisation of children, -Stabilisation of adult personalities
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Describe what Parson means by Unit of Consumption?
Feeding and clothing family members- material care,
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Describe what Parsons means by primary socialisation of children and how this benefits society?
Intergrating children into societies shared norms and values. This social control function helps to create consensus, order and social stability,
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Describe what Parson means by stabilisation of adult personalities and how this benefits society?
Offers emotional stability for adults e.g. relaxing environment to unwind from the tensions of work. This benefits the economy,
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What does Parsons suggest about the rise of the nucleur family?
The shift from the extended to the nucleur family following industrialisation,
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What term does he use to describe the change from extended to nucleur family due to industrialisation?
Functional fit
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What are the two reasons why there was a change from extended to nucleur family?
1) Provided opportunities for geographical mobility 2)Provided opportunities for social mobility
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Describe why the nucleur family provided more opportunities for geographical mobility?
Nucleur families function to allow for easy movement around the country when looking for jobs,
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Describe why the nucleur family provided more opportunities for social mobility?
With the movement from ascribed status (fixed at birth) to achieved status (own effort and ability) in modern industrial societies, nuclear families function to allow for social mobility without potential family conflict,
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What two functions did Parsons suggest the nucleur family had lost?
1) Unit of Production 2)Welfare needs
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Why did Parsons suggest the Unit of Production is a lost function by the nucleur family?
As most family members go to a workplace for their employment,
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Why did Parsons suggest the Welfare needs is a lost function by the nucleur family?
As their welfare needs are now catered for by institutions such as schools, social security and professional health care,
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Give a disadvantage of Parsons functional fit theory about the nuclear families were common in pre-industrial society?
Young and Willmott, and Laslett, found the nucleur family was the norm. This was becuase of late childbearing and short life expectancy so therefore, few grandparents,
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Give a disadvantage of Parsons functional fit theory about the extended family being strengthened by industrialisation by Young and Willmott?
They claim the hardship of early industrialisation gave rise to mum centred working class extended families, offering financia, practical and emotional support,
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Give another disadvantage about the extended being strengthened by industrialisation by Andersons?
He suggests the exchange theory- The benefits of working class extended families outweighed the costs and they offered support for shared housing costs, sickness, poverty, childcare when a welfare state didnt exist,
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Give another disadvantage of Parsons functional fit theory about the extended family having not disappeared in modern societies?
The extedned family has not disappeared, continues to exist as it perfoms vital functions such as financial support, childcare and emotional help,
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Overall, how do Marxists view the family?
Structural conflict view- Marxists see the family (especially nucluer) in negative terms and believe the functions of the family benefit a ruling minority helping to maintain class inequality and capitalism
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Whatsociologist argued that what type of family does capitalism give rise to?
-Engles, -a patriarchal monogamous nucleur family,
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How do Marxists see the function of the family through the inheritance of property?
They state the nucleur family functions to provide ruling class men with legitimate heirs to their private property,
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For the inheritance of property, describe what would happen if patriarchal control continues?
They state that patriarchal control will only end with the creation of a communist society (classless society) as then there will be no need to transmit private wealth to future generations,
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What did Engles argue that the monogamous nucleur family has led to for women?
Engles argues that it has led to women's sexuality becoming controlled by men and turned into 'a mere instrument for the production of children',
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What do are Marxists ideological functions about the family?
They see the family as part of the superstructure which transmits ruling class ideologies (ideas and beliefs)
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What is the superstructures role?
To justify inequality and maintains a state of false class consciousness,
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What does the term false class consciousness mean?
Where people are unaware they are being exploited and see a capitalist system as fair, natural and inevitable,
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What does false class consciousness therefore prevent and ensure?
It prevents revoluntionary activity and ensures the continuance of capitalism,
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Describe how Marxists see the role of the family to ensure their children maintain a false class consciousness?
Marxists claim tha childen learn to accept hierarcy and inequality through the family. Parents exert power and control over their children and therefore children come to accpet unequal power relationships at the workplace,
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What did what sociologist argue about the family being an illusion?
-Eli Zaretsky, -The family create an apparant 'haven' from the harsh and expoitative world but it is an illusion. The family can't meet its members needs,
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Describe how Marxists see the role of the family for their unit of consumption?
They state they play a major role in generating profits for capitalost business organisations-Powerful marketing results in many families leads them to beliebe they need to spend money on the latest products,
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What is the term used to describe the families need to keep up with the latest products?
'Keep up with the Joneses'
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What would the effect be on the children if families didnt keep up with the latest products?
Their children would be stigmatised,
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How do children persaude parents to buy more?
'pester power'
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Give a criticism of marxism based on Functionalists?
They argue Marxists ignore the positive functions of the family- They would stress the benefits families perform for individuals and society as a whole e.g.mutual support and intimacy,
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Give another criticism of Marxism based on feminists?
They argue Marxists focus too much on class based issues and would stress they dont focus enouhg on the way families serve the interests of men rather than women,
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Overall, how do feminists view the family?
Structural gender conflict views- They see the family, especially the nucleur, in negative terms. They believe the family oppresses women and functions to benefit men
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How do Liberal feminists view gender relations in the family?
They believe gender relations are gradually becoming more equal in the family.
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Why do Liberal feminists believe gender relations are becoming more equal?
As they point to the evidence that men are doing more domestic labour and that some parents are socialising their children equally and holding similar aspirations for them,
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Give the name of the act that outlawed discrimination in employment and the year?
-Sex Discrimination Act, -1975
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How do Liberal feminists believe full equality can be achieved?
By changing attitudes and the socialisation patterns of both sexes,
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How else do they believe the Government can help towards full equality?
By creating 'family friendly' social policiies such as flexible working and parental leave which would encourage equality between the sexes,
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What and who criticises Liberal feminists views?
It ignores the underlying cause of women's oppression- Marxist and radical femnists would argue deeper social changes are needed to end inequality between the sexes,
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What are marxists views on the main cause of women's oppression?
They believe it is capitalism rather than men that cause women's oppression
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Marxist feminists argue that women's oppression is said to perform three vital functions of capitalism. What are these three functions?
-Women reproduce the Labour force, -Women absorb anger otherwise directed at capitalism,, -Women act as a 'reserve army' of cheap labour,
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Describe how Marxist feminists describe how women reproduce the labour force?
Through domestic and unpaid labour, maintaining the current workforce and socialising the next generation of workers,
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Describe what sociologists views on how women absorb anger that may otherwise be directed at capitalism?
Ansley sees domestic violence as an outlet of men's frustration with the exploitation and alienation they experience in the workplace
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Describe Marxist feminists views on women acting as a 'reserve army' of cheap labour?
They argue women can be employed as and when they are needed as extra paid workers,
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How do marxists believe full equality can be achieved?
By abolishing the family at the same time as a socialist revolution replaces capitalism with a communist society,
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What is a criticism of Marxist feminists?
They ignore the postive aspects of family life- many women actively choose and enjoy looking after a home and bringing up children,.
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What do radical feminists believe the source of women's oppression is and their views on the family?
Patriarchy as they believe the family is an exploitative institution than benefits mens
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How do men exploit and benefit from women?
For women's unpaid domestic labour and sexual services and their domination in these catergories,
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How radical feminists believe women can be free?
By abolishing the family and living independently of men-all female (matrilocal) households and "politcal lesbeinism'
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What do Radical feminists argue about 'political lesbianism'?
The idea that heterosexual relationships are oppressive as they involve 'sleeping with the enemy',
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What sociologist argues that for the creation of all female households?
Geer
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What is a criticism of radical feminism?
It ignores recent equality breaktrhoughs- better access to divorce, better job opportunities, control over fertility, 'new men' etc,
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What do difference feminists believe about women's experiences and examples?
That they vary for many reasons- sexuality of partners, ethnicity, social class and age,
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How do difference feminists see middle class households as compared to working class?
middle class households more likely to be equality between sexes whereas working class- women may rely on partner for money as more poverty- more inequality
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How do black feminist see black families?
More positive as it serves as a form of support and resistance to racism in society,
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What is a criticism of difference feminists?
They ignore the shared inequality and risks many women experience e.g. low pay and domestic violence can be experienced by all women regardless of social class or ethnicity ir age,
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What is a further evaluation of all theorists views on the family based on the presumption of the type of family?
Their approaches assume the nucleur family is the dominant family form- they ignore the diversity of modern family structures e.g. lone parent families, same sex households etc,
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What is a further evaluation of all theorists views on the family based on the views of interactionists and postmodernists?
The approaches focus on the social structure to the neglect of human action. Interactionists and postmodernists would argue that family members have choice in family relationships, and that is shown by increasing diversity in family relationships,
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What is the conclusion for the functions/roles/ purpose of the family?
Functionalist/ marxist/feminst approach are important as they highlight the connectedness of families and society as a whole. Hwoever postmodernists argue that no single approach can claim to offer a total understanding of the role of families,
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Card 2

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How does Murdock view the nucleur family?

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As universal and ideally suited for performing functions,

Card 3

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What 4 functions did Murdock suggest the nucleur family do?

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Card 4

Front

Describe Murdock's view on the stable satisfaction of the sex drive?

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Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

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How does the stable satisfaction of the sex drive benefit society?

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