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338 WordsMar 3, 20122 Pages
Sociology Discuss the ways in which functionalists have ignored the dark side of the family. There are many ways in which functionalist ignore the dark side of the family. Functionalists focus more on the positive side of the family, they are very optimistic of the family and exclude gay and single parent families from their views, for example Murdock defined the family by saying ‘the family is characterised by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship and one or more children’ he does not say anything about single parent families or gay families. However we all know that today not many families are actually like this, infact most families these days are single parent families or step families and are not all perfect like Murdock’s perception. The dark side of the family means domestic violence and how the family is dysfunctional, but the functionalists ignore this, the functionalists do not recognise the diversity or alternatives to the family, there views is that the nuclear family is the best, it is traditional and the they think that males and females have different capabilities therefore a division of labour is better for family life, so basically saying that men should go out to work and woman should be housewives. They also ignore the interaction process between a child and parent and just prepares the child for adult roles. Functionalists accounts underestimate the strain and exploitation of family life.The core functions of the family are sexual, reproductive, economic and educational, Murdock says every family needs these functions to stay healthy and balanced but overlooks the darker side of the family. Of course the nuclear family can have a dark side just like any other family for example some may even call it private

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