As capitalist societies began to emerge, so came the development of private property and a class of men who secured control of the means of production. This brought about the patriarchal monogamous nuclear family.
According to Friedrich Engels, monogamy became essential because of the inheritance of private property (men had to be certain of the paternity of their children). This however has led to a ‘world historical defeat of the female sex’, where women have been turned into ‘a mere instrument for the production of children
Ideology for Marxists = a set of ideas or beliefs that justify inequality and maintain the capitalist system by persuading people to accept it as fair, natural or unchangeable
The family socialises children into the idea that hierarchy and inequality are inevitable. Parental power over children accustoms them to the idea that someone is always in charge and prepares them for work
Eli Zaretsky (1976): family also provides a haven from the harsh world of capitalism, although it is an illusion and is based upon the domestic servitude of women