Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Impact of Societal Institutions on Caribbean People - Family
Functionalist Perspective on Family
Functionalist say that th...
Summary and Analysis
Early sociologistsmainly from North America and Europe tended to promote the
nuclear family as a univ...
emerged from all manner of circumstances. Yet there still existsa strong body of
opinion that values familiesconsisting of...
unacepted ways. This is likely to happen when most people in the socie ty accept the
same highly desired goals but few hav...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

CARIBBEAN STUDIES Impact of societal institutions on caribbean people

Impact of societal institutions on caribbean people

  • Login to see the comments

CARIBBEAN STUDIES Impact of societal institutions on caribbean people

  1. 1. Impact of Societal Institutions on Caribbean People - Family Functionalist Perspective on Family Functionalist say that the fammily should carry out several functionsfor order, stability and harmony in society. Suc functions include: 1) Reproduction 1) Socialisation 2) Economic function 3) Provision of love and a sense of belongingness These functionalist ideas and values provide a basis for the common interpretation of the institution of the family across the region.The family is seen as the basic unit of society. If these functions are carried out in an optimal manner and if everyone plays a role, then families would be happy and society would not be threatened by an breakdown of social order. The Family from a Conflict/Marxist Perspective. For the conflict theorist, familiesare associated with exploitation,oppression and domination. Nuclear families in particular are seen as products of capitalism where labour has to move where employment is located leaving behind the extended family. Conflict theorists also argue that the values attributed to nuclear family units are a result of the values imposed by the rich and powerful in the society. The nuclear family form also fits into the capitalist plans in that there is a sexual division of labour where the man works outside, and the woman stays at home and carries out the roles of wife, mother and homemaker. Conflict theorists believe that the “assigning of roles” in a family has contributed to family oppression, abuse and violence.This is because what resultsis an unequal distribution of power that jeopardizes gender relations and even produces generational conflict. Even childrenare affected by this assignment of roles as they are expected to be obedient and subservient and many of them are powerless because their voices are silenced.
  2. 2. Summary and Analysis Early sociologistsmainly from North America and Europe tended to promote the nuclear family as a universal family type because this family type was dominant in their world. Today this family type and the values associated with it is still a dominant aspiration amongst Caribbean people even in the midst of cultural and ethnic diversities. If we are to see the Caribbean as one melting pot of cultures then one family type cannot dominate all others. Amongst Afro and Indo-Caribbean familiesthe extended family type is still a dominant feature.Functionalists who ascribe to the nuclear family unit and the roles whicheachindividual play within such a unit fail to understand, or choose to largely ignore certain socio-historic factorswhich prevent this family type from being achieved within many units. They argue for example that disorder occurs whenchildren are born out of wedlock and men in particular fail to fulfill their rolesas fathers. Yet ironically our European ancestors who tried during slavery to perpetuate the nuclear family form as the “acceptable” unit to aspire to were the ones who were separating slave familiesfrom each other.On many slave plantations marriageswere not allowed or encouraged by slave masters as it would result in a sense of stability and comfort amongst slaves. Besides, stable unions would serve to encourage reproduction which would be additional expensesfor plantation owners. Thus it was common especially during difficult financial time for slaves to be sold to other plantations separating them from other family members. Dr. Maureen Rowe has sought to attribute the general lack of responsibility shown amongst Caribbean fathers to their familiesto what happened during slavery. She argues that as a result of male slavesbeing sent away to other plantations as soon as a family was formed, Caribbean men especially in the English-speakingterritories never learnt to take responsibility for their own actions. The double-standards are even more revealing whenwe consider the growing mulatto class which emerged during the period of slavery consisting of children born largely out of wedlock to European slave masterswho, for the public image sought to portray a perfect nuclear family form. Essentially the debate on family types and values also lends itself to the question as to whether family type, structure or composition has any bearing on the kinds of persons produced by that family. The answer is no. Good and bad persons seemed to have
  3. 3. emerged from all manner of circumstances. Yet there still existsa strong body of opinion that values familiesconsisting of two wedded parentsand children. In summary the Conflict perspective gives us an alternative view to that of the dominant view of the social institution of family. Both describe the impact of the family on Caribbean people however functionalismcontributes some of the dominant ideas that help to shape the common view whereas our history and conflict theory show us how diverse we are in interpreting “family” THE SOCIAL INSTITUTIONOF THE JUSTICE SYSTEM The justice system refersto the interaction of those social institutions that are cleary identified withsocial control.These include the interaction of crime,the law and the judiciary,as well as the police and the protective services. Less formally, membersof society are socialized from very young into what is considered acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Observance of these rules for living is mostly based on systems of rewardsand sanction, at least in early life. As more mature citizens we usually observe lawful conduct because we are personally convinced that to recognise and uphold the rights of others is a hallmark of a good citizenand not because of possible sanctions. Functionalist perspectieve of the justice system Functionalists believe that valuesabout justice, equality and fairness are universally acclaimed as good and form the basic framework for society.Society has to have ways of dealing with those who break the laws of society because they contribute to disorder and disharmony leading to chaos and confusion. Functionalist created the institutionsof the justice systemto take care of suc deviants- by one or more of the following, punishment, detterence or rehabilitation. The police force and the court system have a role to perform. Deviant behaviour is explained is explained largely in termsof breakdown in the family socialisation process or how individuals react to cchanges in society. For example,the anomie theory says that there are socially accepted meansof obtaining the rewardsof society but those who cannot accessthe rewards through these means will try other socially
  4. 4. unacepted ways. This is likely to happen when most people in the socie ty accept the same highly desired goals but few have means to attain them. Conflict/MarxistPerspective on Justice System According to Marxist thought the justice system is another institution that forms part of the state apparatus. It functions to maintain the wealthy in power and by extension seeks to oppress others and discriminate against them. The view is that the inequalities of society are brought on by capitalism which helps to isolate poorer class who canot accessbetter jobs. So the acts of crim ethat these inviduals may commmit could be regarde as a rebellion against their situation. Marxist believe that there is a superstructure that includes the police service and the law courts which functions to control the activitiesof the poor. Criminal stasticsare used as a device to blame social problems on the working class. This is evidence of unequal law enforcement, says Marxxist, because the many crimesof the wealthy go either unreported or unpunished. In sum, social order is imposed by the powerful on the powerless and is not based on shared values. Th ejustice system serves th einterest of the elitesand is not about social integration.

×