Theories of the family

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  • Created by: Anna
  • Created on: 09-04-14 11:08
How do functionalists see society?
Functionalists see society as based on a value consensus - a shared set of norms and values. This shared culture enables members of society to co-operate harmoniously to meet society's needs.
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Why do Functionalists see society as an organic analogy?
The body is made up of different parts that function together to meet it's needs, society is a system made up of different but interpendent parts, such as the education system, the economy, religion, the state etc
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What does Murdock (1949) argue the four functions of the nuclear family are?
stable and satisfaction of the sex drive with the same marital partner, reproduction of the next generation, socialisation of the young and satisfaction of members' economic needs e.g. food and shelter.
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What does Parson (1955) argue?
The kinds and range of functions that the family performs depends on the type of society in which it is found. This also determines what kind of structure the family will have.
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What 2 types of family structure does Parsons identify?
The extended family and the nuclear family
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What was the extended family?
It was multi-functional - it was a unit of production and a unit of consumption. e.g. all members worked on the land together, and it often performed welfare, military, religious or other functions.
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What two key needs of modern industrial society does the nuclear family fit?
Geographic mobility- need to move where jobs are and Social mobility- status is no longer ascribed but is achieved.
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What are the two essential functions of the nuclear family?
Primary socialisation of the young and stabilisiation of adult personalities- enabling adults to relax.
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What does Parsons see about Segregated conjugal roles?
Male instrumental and female role should be expressive. He sees the gender division of labour withing the family as biologically based. E.g, Women give birth is why they are suited to the expressive role.
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What do the New right think about the family?
A biologically based division of labour so division of labour is natural and families should be self reliant- reliance on the state welfare leads to a dependency culture, undermines traditional gender roles and produces family breakdown & lone parent
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Marxism is a conflict view, what two classes does it see society as divided into?
Capitalist class/ bourgeoisie who own the means of production and working class/ proletariat who own only their labour, which they sell to capitalists for wages. This enables the capitalist employer to exploit the working class to make a profit.
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What do Marxists think about the functions of the family?
Marxists see all institutions in capitalist society as contributing to the maintenance of exploitation.
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What does Engels (1884) argue?
As private property became more important, men who controlled it needed to ensure they could pass it to their own sons and this led to monogamous marriage. But this also meant the woman becoming the private property of her husband.- PASSING ON WEALTH
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What does Zaretsky (1976) argue?
There is a 'cult of private life'- the belief that we can only gain fulfillment from family life- this distracts attention from exploitation- IDEOLOGICAL FUNCTIONS
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Why is the family seen as a unit of consumption?
Capitalism needs consumers to buy its products. The family is an important market for consumer goods and therefore enables capitalists to make profits.
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What do feminists believe?
That the family is oppressing women.
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What do liberal feminists argue?
Gender inequality is gradually being overcome through legal reforms and policy changes e.g. equal pay, challenging stereotypes and changing people's attitudes and socialisation. march of progress view.
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What do Marxist feminists argue?
That capitalism is the main cause of women's oppression in the family and this performs several functions for capitalism: reproducing the labour force, absorbing men;s anger that would otherwise be directed at capitalism,a reserve army cheap labour.
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What do Marxist feminists argue must be done?
The family must be abolished at the same time as capitalism.
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What do radical feminists argue?
Patriarchy is the main cause of women's opprssion. The family and marriage are key patriarchal institutions.
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Why is this?
Men benefit from women's unpaid domestic labour and sexual services and Men dominate women through violence of the threat of it.
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What do Radical feminists argue must be done?
The patriarchal family must be overturned and the family abolished. Some radical feminists believe in 'political lesbianism' and complete separatism from men.
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What do differnce feminists argue?
Not all women share the same experiences of oppression- women of different ethnicity, class etc may have different experiences of the family.
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What sort of theories are Marxist and functionalist theories?
Modernist theories.
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What do they have in common?
They are structured theories, they see one family type- the nuclear family and they generalise about the modern family.
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Why do postmodernists disagree?
They argue from the late 20th century, society began to move into a 'postmodern' phase.
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What are the two key features of postmodern society?
Fragmentation of culture and lifestyles and rapid change- life has become more disorderly and less predictable.
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Card 2

Front

Why do Functionalists see society as an organic analogy?

Back

The body is made up of different parts that function together to meet it's needs, society is a system made up of different but interpendent parts, such as the education system, the economy, religion, the state etc

Card 3

Front

What does Murdock (1949) argue the four functions of the nuclear family are?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What does Parson (1955) argue?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What 2 types of family structure does Parsons identify?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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