theories of the family

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  • Created by: kle1234
  • Created on: 10-03-16 16:58
the functionalist perspective
society based on value consensus (a shared set of norms and values) this shared culture enables members of society to co-operate harmoniously to meet societys needs to achieve their common goals.
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the organic analogy
society is like a biological organism. made of different parts (cells, organs ect) that function together to meet needs and maintain it. society is made up of different parts or sub systems (education systems/religions ect).
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the functions of the family
family plays vital role in maintaining the social system, as well as meeting needs of sub-systems eg. the economy. positive view on the family, performs beneficial functions for wider society and individual members.
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Murdock - 4 functions of the family
nuclear family performs 4 vital functions - satisfaction of the sexdrive. reproduction of the next generation. socialisation of the young. satisfaction of members economic needs.
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Parsons - functional fit theory
functions of the family depend on the type of society in which it is found. society also determines the structure of a family. there is two types of family structure: three generational extended family and two generational nuclear family.
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the three generational extended family
found in pre industrial society. multifunctional - unit of production and consumption.
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the two generational nuclear family
found in modern industrial society. fits 2 key needs of society; geograhically mobility and social mobility
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geographical mobility
industries constantly sping up and decline in differet places. its easier for two gneration family to pick up and ove to where jobs are.
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social mobility
status is achieved not ascribed. adult sons can now achieve higher status than heir fathers. breaking away to set up own nuclear families removes status conflict.
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the families two irreducible functions
nuclear family has two essential functions; primary socialisation and stabilising of adult personalities
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primary socialisation
socialisation of the young. equipping the next generation with basic skills and society's values.
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stabilising of adult personalities
enabling adults to relax and release tension
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The New Right Perspective
had a considerable influence on government policies. follows two assumptions: a biologically based division of labour and families should be self-reliant
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A biologically based division of labour
division of labour in the family between male breadwinner and female homemaker is natural and biologically determined. nuclear family with segregated conjugal roles is best to socialise children.
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families should be self reliant
relience on state welfare leads to a dependency culture, undermines traditional gender roles and produces family breakdowns/lone parent families. lack of male role model for boys results in social problems and delinquency.
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The Marxist perspective
a conflict view of society. modern capitalist society is divided into two classes; the capitalists and working class.
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the capitalist class
also known as bourgeoisie. own the means of production (factories, land ect.)
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the working class (proletariat)
only own their labour. forced to see labour to capitalist class in return for wages. enables caitalist eployer to exploit them to produce profit.
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marxist view on the functions of the family
contributes to the maintenance of of exploitation. seen as an oppressive institution that performs several functions for capitalism.
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Engles - passing on wealth
monogamy essential for passing on private property. men had to be sure of paternity of their children so that legitimate heirs inherited it from them. brought female sexuality under mens control turning it to an instrument for production of children
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Zaretsky - ideological functions
there is a 'cult of private life' - belief we only gain fulfillment from family life- distracting attention from exploitation.
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the family as a unit of consumption
capitalism needs consumers to buy its products. family is an important market for consumer goods, enabling capitalists to make profits.
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liberal feminist perspective on the family
gender inequality gradually being overcome through legl reforms and policy changes, challengig stereotypes and changing peoples attitudes/socilisation
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marxist feminist perspective on the family
capitalism is main cause of womens oppression in the family. womens oppression performs several functions for capitalism; reproducing the labour force (women produce next generation of workers) absorbing mens anger and a reserve army of cheep labour
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radical feminist perspective on the family
patriarchy min cause of womens oppression. marriage and family are key patriarchal institutions. men benifit from womens domestic labour an sexual services and dominate through violence. believe in separatism and arge for political lesbianism
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women must organise themselves to live independantly from men.
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political lesbianism
heterosexual relationships are inevitably oppressive as they involve 'sleeping wth the enemy'.
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radical feminists fail to recognise womens position has improved dramatically. heterosexual attraction makes separatism unlikely to work. recognises women have not yet reached full equality.
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postmodernist perspective on the family
from late 20th century onwards. society has 2 key features fragmentation of cultures and lifestyle and rapid change. resulted in famiy being less stable but more choice on intimate relationships and domestic arrangments.
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fragmentation of cultures ad lifestyle
individuals now have more choice and are freer to construct their identities and lifestyles as they wish - as a result, society now has more a collection of different subcultures.
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rapid change
made life less predicatable. new technology and the media break down existing barriers of time and space.
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Card 2


the organic analogy


society is like a biological organism. made of different parts (cells, organs ect) that function together to meet needs and maintain it. society is made up of different parts or sub systems (education systems/religions ect).

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the functions of the family


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Card 4


Murdock - 4 functions of the family


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Parsons - functional fit theory


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