Shared Resource


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide Shared Resource

  1. 1. The Functions of the Family Theories
  2. 2. • Understand the functionalist, Marxist and different types of feminist perspectives of the family • Be able to analyse the similarities and differences between these perspectives • Be able to evaluate the usefulness of these perspectives on the family Learning Objectives
  3. 3. How does the family fit into wider 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?’ Functionalism ◦ A consensus perspective Marxism ◦ Class conflict Feminism ◦ Gender conflict Introduction
  4. 4. Function Norms Values Social order Expressive role Instrumental role Key Terms - Functionalism Primary socialisation Biological analogy Dysfunction Functional prerequisites Family ideology Dark side of the family
  5. 5. • 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 e.g. the family, education system and the economy • Often compared to a biological organism Functionalist
  6. 6. What similarities can you see between society and an organism such as the human body? What differences are there between the two?
  7. 7. • Look out of the window • Describe the view from an ENVIRONMENTAL point of view • Describe it from an ARCHITECTURAL point of view • Describe it from a FUNCTIONAL point of view
  8. 8. • The family is seen, by Functionalists, as a particularly important subsystem • Murdock (1949) argues the family performs four essential functions to meet the needs of society: 1. Stable satisfaction of the sex drive 2. Reproduction of the next generation 3. Socialisation of the young 4. Meeting its members’ economic needs
  9. 9. • Some argue they could be performed equally well through other institutions or non-nuclear family structures • Marxists and feminists reject this ‘rose-tinted’ view Criticisms of Murdock
  10. 10. • 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 Criticisms of Murdock
  11. 11. 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) Talcott Parsons’ Functional Fit Theory
  12. 12. • 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 Parsons’ Functional Fit Theory
  13. 13. 1. A geographically mobile workforce ◦ People need to move to where the jobs are ◦ Parsons argues it is easier for the compact two- generation nuclear family, with just dependent children, to move Industrial society has two different essential needs:
  14. 14. 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
  15. 15. • 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)
  16. 16. 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 Loss of Functions
  17. 17. • The modern nuclear family comes to specialise in performing just two essential or ‘irreducible’ functions: – Primary socialisation – Stabilisation of adult personalities As a result:
  18. 18. 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