Theories of the Family
Functionalism

Miss Russell
Bilton School
To Start:
How does Society compare to a Human Body
and it’s Organs?

Charlotte Russell

Bilton School
Thinking Ladder…

To

&

what
functionalism is.
To
&
the
functions of the family.
To
the
functionalist approach to
explain...
How will I know if I am learning?
By the end of the lesson…
E

Will be able to define Functionalism.

C

Will be able to e...
Human Body: Organic analogy
1) Pick an organ.

Place it on the human body and
explain what it does.
2) Now draw a lines be...
Functionalists think the same of Society
Functionalists believe that society is made up of different subsystems which depe...
Functionalism
• Argue that society is based on a value consensus:
– Set of shared norms and values
– Allows individuals to...
Functionalism
Social Institutions or
agents, including the
family…

Charlotte Russell

Bilton School
Functionalism

Re-Cap
Is Structural or Social Action
theory? Why?
Is it Conflict or Consensus?
Why?

Charlotte Russell

Bi...
Functions of the Family
Functionalists argue that the family is a particularly important
subsystem – a building block for ...
Functions of the Family
What are the Functions of the family? How to they help society?

Look at the four pictures
in fron...
Functions of the Family
George Murdock (1949) argues that the family performs 4 essential
functions to meet the needs of s...
Functions of the Family
George Murdock (1949) argues that the family performs 4 essential
functions to meet the needs of s...
Functions of the Family
George Murdock (1949) argues that the family performs 4 essential
functions to meet the needs of s...
Functions of the Family
George Murdock (1949) argues that the family performs 4 essential
functions to meet the needs of s...
Functions of the Family
-Murdock studied 250 societies of different
cultures. (Good breadth of study!)
-Murdock saw that i...
Functions of the Family (Murdock)
Think about Murdock’s Functions. Fill out the table by
answering the following:
1) What ...
Functions of the Family (Murdock)
Now use your table to see if
you can find anything
wrong with Murdock’s
arguments.
How c...
Criticisms of Murdock
• Some argue they could be performed equally
well through other institutions or a non-nuclear
family...
Criticisms of Murdock
• Marxists and feminists argue that
functionalism neglects conflict and
exploitation
– Feminists
• S...
To Finish:
How far do you agree with the Functionalism view of the family so far?
Why?

Strongly
Disagree

Charlotte Russe...
Talcott Parsons’ Functional Fit Theory
The family may meet other needs:

◦ Welfare, military, political, religious functi...
Parsons’ Functional Fit Theory
• Two basic types of society
– Modern industrial society
– Traditional pre-industrial socie...
Industrial society has two different essential needs:

1. A geographically mobile workforce
◦
◦

People need to move to wh...
Industrial society has two different essential needs:

2.
◦

◦

◦

A socially mobile workforce
Modern industrial society i...
• Parsons argues that the nuclear family is better
equipped than the extended family to meet the
needs of industrial socie...
Loss of Functions
 The pre-industrial family was a multi-functional unit
◦ A unit of production
◦ A unit of consumption

...
As a result:
• The modern nuclear family comes to specialise
in performing just two essential or ‘irreducible’
functions:
...
Criticisms!
1. Functionalists have been accused of idealising
the family.
2. Ignoring conflict and abuse within families
3...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Resourcd File

574

Published on

Published in: Technology, Business
0 Comments
2 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
574
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
2
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Resourcd File

  1. 1. Theories of the Family Functionalism Miss Russell Bilton School
  2. 2. To Start: How does Society compare to a Human Body and it’s Organs? Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  3. 3. Thinking Ladder… To & what functionalism is. To & the functions of the family. To the functionalist approach to explaining the family using sociologists’ names and studies.
  4. 4. How will I know if I am learning? By the end of the lesson… E Will be able to define Functionalism. C Will be able to explain the functions of the family. A Will be able to apply functionalism to the family and explain it using sociologists and studies.
  5. 5. Human Body: Organic analogy 1) Pick an organ. Place it on the human body and explain what it does. 2) Now draw a lines between different organs and explain how they are connected. Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  6. 6. Functionalists think the same of Society Functionalists believe that society is made up of different subsystems which depend on each other. Each subsystem as a function and together they are vital for the running of society. Imagine this circle is society. Society What could all the different subsystems be? How do they work to make society function? How are they all connected? Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  7. 7. Functionalism • Argue that society is based on a value consensus: – Set of shared norms and values – Allows individuals to cooperate harmoniously to meet societies needs and achieve shared goals • Society is made up of parts that depend on each other (social institutions or agents!) e.g. the family, education system and the economy Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  8. 8. Functionalism Social Institutions or agents, including the family… Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  9. 9. Functionalism Re-Cap Is Structural or Social Action theory? Why? Is it Conflict or Consensus? Why? Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  10. 10. Functions of the Family Functionalists argue that the family is a particularly important subsystem – a building block for society. • We will now look at the role or purpose of the family and what it does for its members and society • What are the functions of the family? Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  11. 11. Functions of the Family What are the Functions of the family? How to they help society? Look at the four pictures in front of you… What are the functions that they represent? Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  12. 12. Functions of the Family George Murdock (1949) argues that the family performs 4 essential functions to meet the needs of society. 1) Stable satisfaction of the sex drive Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  13. 13. Functions of the Family George Murdock (1949) argues that the family performs 4 essential functions to meet the needs of society. 2) Reproduction of the next generation Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  14. 14. Functions of the Family George Murdock (1949) argues that the family performs 4 essential functions to meet the needs of society. 3) Meeting the economic needs of it’s members Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  15. 15. Functions of the Family George Murdock (1949) argues that the family performs 4 essential functions to meet the needs of society. Key Term Alert!!! “Socialisation” The process of learning the culture, norms and values of society. Norms? Values? Primary & Secondary Socialisation? 4) Socialisation of the young Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  16. 16. Functions of the Family -Murdock studied 250 societies of different cultures. (Good breadth of study!) -Murdock saw that in each of these societies the nuclear family existed. -He saw the nuclear family as providing these 4 important functions! Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  17. 17. Functions of the Family (Murdock) Think about Murdock’s Functions. Fill out the table by answering the following: 1) What is the function? Describe it? 2) How does it benefit individual members of society? 3) How does it benefit society as a whole? 4) Which other social groups/agents/institutions could perform this function? How? Extension: Try and condense Murdock’s Functions down to 2 of the most important. Then condense these 2 down to 1. Which is the most important function and why? Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  18. 18. Functions of the Family (Murdock) Now use your table to see if you can find anything wrong with Murdock’s arguments. How could we criticise his functions? Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  19. 19. Criticisms of Murdock • Some argue they could be performed equally well through other institutions or a non-nuclear family. • Is the family always harmonious and full of consensus? Or is this a rose-tinted view? Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  20. 20. Criticisms of Murdock • Marxists and feminists argue that functionalism neglects conflict and exploitation – Feminists • See the family as serving the needs of men – Marxists • Argue it meets the needs of capitalism, not those family members or society as a whole Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  21. 21. To Finish: How far do you agree with the Functionalism view of the family so far? Why? Strongly Disagree Charlotte Russell In the Middle Strongly Agree Bilton School
  22. 22. Talcott Parsons’ Functional Fit Theory The family may meet other needs: ◦ Welfare, military, political, religious functions The functions it performs will depend on the social construction Parsons (1955) argues there are two types of family structure: ◦ Nuclear family ◦ Extended family (three generations living under one roof) Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  23. 23. Parsons’ Functional Fit Theory • Two basic types of society – Modern industrial society – Traditional pre-industrial society • The nuclear family fits the needs of industrial society and is the dominant family type in that society; the extended family fits the needs of the pre-industrial society • Post industrial revolution (late 18th C onwards) extended  nuclear Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  24. 24. Industrial society has two different essential needs: 1. A geographically mobile workforce ◦ ◦ People need to move to where the jobs are Parsons argues it is easier for the compact twogeneration nuclear family, with just dependent children, to move Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  25. 25. Industrial society has two different essential needs: 2. ◦ ◦ ◦ A socially mobile workforce Modern industrial society is based on constantly evolving science and technology so requires skilled technically competent workforce Essential that talented people are able to win promotion and take on the most important jobs Status is achieved  makes social mobility possible Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  26. 26. • Parsons argues that the nuclear family is better equipped than the extended family to meet the needs of industrial society • The result of this is the mobile nuclear family which is structurally isolated from its extended kin without binding obligations towards them (unlike the pre-industrial extended family) Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  27. 27. Loss of Functions  The pre-industrial family was a multi-functional unit ◦ A unit of production ◦ A unit of consumption  Therefore more self-sufficient  Parsons argues that when society industrialises the family not only changes its structure but also loses some of its functions ◦ Family ceases to be a unit of production ◦ Family becomes a unit of consumption only ◦ Loses most of its other functions to other institutions such as schools and the health service Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  28. 28. As a result: • The modern nuclear family comes to specialise in performing just two essential or ‘irreducible’ functions: – Primary socialisation – Stabilisation of adult personalities Charlotte Russell Bilton School
  29. 29. Criticisms! 1. Functionalists have been accused of idealising the family. 2. Ignoring conflict and abuse within families 3. Ignoring gender inequality within families 4. Ignoring the rising divorce rates 5. Ignoring growing family diversity Charlotte Russell Bilton School

×