SociologyExchange.co.uk Shared Resource

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SociologyExchange.co.uk Shared Resource

  1. 1.  Proletariat  Bourgeoisie  Ruling class ideology  Exploitation  Alienation  Capitalism  Capitalist  Conflict  Economic determinism  False class consciousness  Oppression  Monogamous nuclear family  Unit of consumption Key Terms - Marxism
  2. 2. Functionalists see society as based on value consensus Marxists see society as based on an unequal conflict between two social classes: ◦ The capitalist class ◦ The working class Marxists see all societies institutions, such as the education system, media, religion and the state, along with the family as helping to maintain class inequality and capitalism The functions of the family are performed purely for the benefit of the capitalist system Marxist Perspectives
  3. 3. • The key factor, according to Marxists, in shaping society is the mode of production – who controls and owns societies productive forces (tools, machinery, raw materials, land and labour) • In modern society, it is the capitalist class that owns and controls these means of production • As the mode of production evolves, so too does the family Inheritance of Property
  4. 4. Marx called the earliest, classless society ‘primitive communism’. ◦ No private property ◦ All members of society owned the means of production communally ◦ No family as such:  Engels (1891; 1978) called the promiscuous horde Forces of production developed  societies wealth increased Development of private property Class emerged who were able to seize the means of production Marxism
  5. 5. • Monogamy became essential because of the inheritance of private property – men had to be sure of the paternity of their children to ensure the inheritance was legitimate • The rise of the monogamous nuclear family represented a ‘world historical defeat of the female sex’ – brought the woman’s sexuality under male control and turned her into a ‘mere instrument for the production of children’ Engels
  6. 6. • Marxists argue that only through the overthrow of capitalism and private ownership of the means of production will women achieve liberation from patriarchal control • Classlessness = means of production are owned collectively, not privately • No more need for the patriarchal nuclear family (no need to transmit private property down the generations) Emancipation
  7. 7. • Family today performs key ideological functions for capitalism – Ideology = set of ideas or beliefs that justify inequality by accepting things are ‘fair’, natural or unchangeable • Socialising children into believing hierarchy and inequality are inevitable – There is usually someone in charge (usually a man) – Prepared for a working life in which they accept orders from their capitalist employers Ideological Functions
  8. 8. • Eli Zaretsky (1976) – The family also performs an ideological function by offering an apparent ‘haven’ from the harsh and exploitative world of capitalism – This, however, is largely an illusion – the family cannot meet the needs of its members (based on the domestic servitude of women) Zaretsky
  9. 9. • Capitalism exploits the labour of its workers  selling the products for more than the pay of the workers • The family plays a major role in this – Advertisers urge families to consume the latest products – The media target children who use ‘pester power’  tweens – Stigmatisation of children if they do not have the latest fashion A Unit of Consumption
  10. 10. Marxists assume the nuclear family is dominant  ignores the wide variety of family structures Feminists argue that the Marxist emphasis on social class and capitalism underestimates the importance of gender inequalities within the family  the family is more beneficial to men than capitalism Functionalists argue that Marxists ignore the benefits the family provides for its members such as intimacy and mutual support Criticisms
  11. 11. • Gender • Patriarchy • Reserve army of labour • Power • Triple shift • Dual burden • Patriarchal ideology • Dark side of the family Key Terms - Feminism
  12. 12. • Critical view of the family • Oppresses women • Unequal division of labour • Domestic violence against women • Gender inequality created by society (not natural or inevitable) • There are a number of versions of feminism  Feminist Perspectives

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