Examine the Different Functions Performed by the Family for Individuals and Society Essay

481 Words2 Pages
Different groups of sociologists have devoted time in studying and analysing the family, however different types of sociologists share different views over the functions performed for individuals and society. Functionalist see society as an interrelated whole. To functionalists every institution in society performs one or more important functions or jobs and the sociologist has to determine what these functions are. Many functionalists look at the good things in family life, the two functionalists I am focusing on are Murdock and parsons, both of these share similar views on the family. Murdock believed that the nuclear family was a universal institution that was vital to the well being of all societies and stated that the family's primary purpose is for sexual, reproductive, economic, and educational. Many people say murdocks analyse suffers from a failure to consider how other instructions can or could take over the functions of the family for example welfare state providing shelter. Parsons said even though the family had lost some functions it retained two basic and irreducible functions, they were primary socialization and stabilisation of adult personalities, parsons argues that society cannot exist without shared values norms and roles which are passed on from generation to generation and claims family's are needed for this purpose. The functionalists view of the family has been heavily criticised for being outdated and for presenting an overly optimistic view of the family. Many people criticise functionalists because they ignore the fact that not all families are perfect, another weakness of functionalists is that not all families can carry out all four of the functions for example gay families can't carry out the reproductive function. Marxists show a different belief to functionalists. Marxists believe that the nuclear family's main aim
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