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Asses the Functionalist View of the Family and Contrast with One Other View Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on October 17, 2014
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 819 words

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Below is an essay on "Asses the Functionalist View of the Family and Contrast with One Other View" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Functionalist Essay.

The Functionalist sociologist, Murdock (1949) defined the family as a social group characterised by common residence, economic co-operation and reproduction. He said it must include adults of both sexes who are in a sexual relationship, and were also cohabiting adults. Murdock's definition focuses on the Nuclear family stereotypically made up of a two-generation family: heterosexual couple and their children. This definition of the family is popular with right wing sociologists who believe it is the ideal type of family unit that every should want to have. They argue this because they believe the nuclear family is the best type of family for individuals and for society as a whole. They believe that it is the nuclear family that conducts primary socialisation the best out of all the different family units, making the nuclear family the best. However, functionalists tend to see the family as harmonious but this is clearly not the case in society today. Feminist criticise the functionalist view on the nuclear family by arguing that the nuclear family doesn't suit everyone within the family unit and can be more damaging than it is beneficial. They argue that it only benefits the men in the house hold as it is a very patriarchal set up which is especially damaging to the women within the family. Feminists would argue that women are alienated from society as most of their time is spent at home looking at their families.
They would also argue that families support the continuation of the capitalist system in ways which result in the exploitation of women. Furthermore, feminists argue that the nuclear family provides reinforcement of male superiority in the household. The nuclear family structure emphasizes the role of men as the instrumental leader and women as the expressive leader. This also means that children grow up quickly learning their gender roles which they will carry on succumbing as they go through life, this in turn continues the...

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