Furthermore, people are living much longer lives, meaning that often property is sold to pay for nursing care. This means that inheritance of property is not just the domain of the bourgeoisie. Another argument is made by Zaretsky (1976) who believed that the family helps capitalist society because it is the one place where the working man (proletariat) can have control and power. This in turn helps him to feel better about his low status and relieves his frustrations from work. Therefore he is more likely to accept his status in society, which again fuels capitalism.
Believing sexism will go away without putting major changes in place, is not a reality. Sexism blatantly exists in the work place. Obvious (and most common) examples of this would be: women are often paid less than their male counterparts for the same position, men often receive rapid job promotions in comparison to women and women are usually the targets of gender based harassment. Women frequently struggle with the lack of pay they receive, in comparison to their male counterparts. A woman working in the same job as a man will usually earn less, despite the fact that she may have the same or better training, education, and skills required for the job ("Study Shows Female Managers in Britain Earn Less than Men, and Equality Could Be 57 Years Away."
In addition, what are the contributions that men and women can made in a relationship. Furthermore, how can those contributions lead to a healthy relationship? The roles of men and women have been defined by society for centuries. A men’s role is to be the sole breadwinner of the family. Women depend on men for protection and financial reasons.
Feminist views of the family revolve around and understanding of the term patriarchy, which means make domination. Feminists agree that men tend to have a superior position in society and that women suffer oppression because of this. Many feminists argue that the family is a corner stone of this oppression and as such needs careful analysis. Liberal feminists believe that the fanily is gradually becoming less oppressive for women, they cite the move of many families towards more symmetrical roles where men take more part in the domestic roles so that women are no longer burdened by the mundane, repetitive, low status work of cleaning, laundry and childcare work which makes their position in society less powerful than mens. However, radical feminists disagree.
The common radical feminist view on family is that it is institutionally patriarchal, and that gain much more from marriage than women. Greer (2000) argues that wives get less out of marriage than husbands; for example, single women tend to be happier than married women though the opposite is true for men. This is partly because women remain subservient to their husbands and do not revolt against their oppressive spouses. However, from a functionalist perspective, the family is a key aspect of society which helps maintain it and ensure that vital norms and values are passed on in order for society to progress. Parsons (1955) maintains that the family still has a vital role in preparing its members to meet the requirements of the social system.
By structuring the personalities of the young and stabilizing the personalities of adults, the family provides its members with the psychological training and support necessary to meet the requirements of the social system. Parsons concluded the family is more specialized than before but not in any general sense less important because society is dependant more exclusively on it for the performance of certain of its vital functions. Thus the loss of certain functions by the family has made its remaining functions more important. Not all sociologists would agree, however, that the family has lost many of its functions in modern industrial society. Ronald Fletcher, a staunch supporter of the family, maintained that just the opposite has happened.
For example, women now go out to work, just as men now help with housework and childcare. However Feminists reject the ‘March of Progress’ theory, and argue that women remain unequal within the family. Anne Oakley argues that we still live in a patriarchal (male dominated) society, and therefore women occupy a subordinate and dependant role within the family and wider society. In addition in Mary Boulton’s research backed this, she found that fewer than 20% of husbands had a majority role in childcare. Overall it could therefore be argued that rather than partners becoming more equal, women now have to carry a ‘dual burden’, whereby she is responsible for two jobs of unpaid or paid labour.
As Leving and Sacks say “she’s far more critical of him than he is of her”, that means that men are much less critical than females who want to show their strength. But in many cases their thoughts are deceptive, as everybody needs a family to have happy life. Respond: I totally agree with the authors of the text and, in my opinion, the women’s desire to become independent and live by themselves is partly caused by our democratic world, where the equalty between genders is respected. Women build their own careers and become independent, so they do not need help from men at least financially. That’s why we have the tendency of growth of the amount of single women.
However, some sociologists disagree with Murdock’s functions of the family and have criticised him. Some argue that these functions could be performed in other institutions equally as well as in the family, or by non-nuclear families. Marxists and Feminists reject his 'rose-tinted' harmonious consensus view that the family meets the needs of both wider society and all members of the family. They argue that functionalism neglects conflict and exploitation: Feminist see the family as serving the needs of men and oppressing women. Marxists argue that it meets the needs of Capitalism and not the needs of family members or society as a whole.
Sociologists say that modern day families are no longer dominated as they were last century and before. In Talcott Parsons’ (1955) model of the nuclear family, the husband was an instrumental role providing for the family financially making him the bread winner. While the wife was an expressive role meeting the families emotional needs making her the homemaker, a full time housewife rather than a wage earner. However, other sociologists have criticised Parsons’ theory. Michael Young and Peter Willmott (1962) argue that men are now taking a greater share of domestic tasks and more wives are becoming wage earners.