1. Primary socialisation of the young teaching them norms & values to the child. The child learns these rules and ensures values, consensus & social order in society are maintained.
2. Stabilisation of the adult personalities. The family provides stability & emotional security. A safe haven away from the stress of everyday life.
The family successfully performs;
Stable sex relations
Stabilisation of the young
Sense of identity and belonging.
Parsons also says the Family is like a warm bath. It takes the problems away ;
In modern society the family still plays several vital roles these include;
Regulating sexual Behaviour
Procreation & rearing of children
Caring for dependant members.
Primary Socialisation of children
Teaching family members the roles they will play.
Criticisms of the functionalist view on the family
Doesn’t look at the lack of regulated sexual behaviour I.e adultery.
Not all parents stay together mainly look at the nuclear family.
Some children are neglected.
Abuse – Domestic Violence.
doesn’t look at social class.
Doesn’t agree with the equal institution.
On many levels the family is now in fact functionless . It no longer engages in economic production, it has no political power and it is not vital to integrate wider society. Other institutions such as schools, business, welfare organisations etc. have now taken over. This is a positive thing for the family as it has allowed the family to focus on the two functions it does best.
N. Dennis (1975) agrees with this. Suggesting that many ‘impersonal bureaucratic agencies’ have take over the role.
The four functions women perform.
Reproduce the work force
Be part of the work force when required
Raise and socialise the children
Be sex objects of men.
Ansley says women are like sponges.
There to absorb the anger and frustration felt by the husband working in the capital economy.
Women ‘takers of shit’ act like ‘ a sponge to soak up’ the husband unhappiness & lack of satisfaction with work.
Firestone see’s the family unit as a source of patriarchal domination.
Women are dependant on men because they have babies.
Babies are dependant on adults for along time the women have the correct ‘equipment’ to look after children
All women have maternal instincts
The biological divisions between the sexes is the origin of all other divisions economic, political & ideological.
Women are the ‘ takers of shit’ who act like ‘a sponge soak up’ the husbands unhappiness and lack of satisfaction.
Men are involved in decision making around the home such as moving house etc if they cannot maintain control though discussions, they may do so through force.
Robert Chester (1985) Cohabitation.
For most people. Cohabitation is part of the process of getting married. Many people see it as a trial marriage. The house hold survey found that 75% of cohabiting couples expected to get married.
Andre Bejin (1985) Cohabitation.
Cohabitation against some young people represent a conscious attempt to create more equal relationship, than patriarchal marriage.
Shelton & John (1993)
Women who cohabite do less housework than married women.
In 1967 the homosexual discriminating act was passed making homosexuality legal for consenting adults over 21, this has recently been equalised with heterosexuals (16)
Jeffrey Weeks (1999)
The increased social acceptance of homosexuality, may explain changing patterns in resent years towards same sex cohabitation and stable relationships.
Kath Weston (1992)
Described same sex cohabitation as a ‘quasi-marriage’ Gay couples are now choosing to cohabit as stable relationships. This is very different to the gay lifestyle of the 1970’s. were gays has casual relationships.
Statistics on Same sex relationships.
5% of adults are in a same sex relationship.
Statistics on 1 person households.
30% of all households contained only 1 person.
50% are old age patients .
Birth Outside marriage.
1/3 of babies are now born outside marriage.
3% are born to teenage mothers.
Over 80% of births outside marriage are registered to both parents.
Half of all marriages end in divorce
Britian has the second highest divorce rate in Europe.
1938 – 6000
1993 – 165000
88% of women are solely responsible for washing & ironing. Compared to 1% of men.
Full time house wives spent 77 hours a week on housework.
76% of employed and 93% of non-employed women were housewives.