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

995 Words4 Pages
Examine the different functions performed by the family for individuals and society. There are many different groups of sociologists that have devoted their time in studying, analysing and evaluating the family. Marxist’s see the family beneficial purely for capitalism and feel as if family is not important for any other aspects of life. They believe family is a bad thing and will strongly disagree with Functionalists who view the family as a major institution in the body of society and cannot live without. Another group is the Feminists who have different groups within them, some with very optimistic views, some with views that will agree with Marxists or some who will have their own ideologies and ways to demolish the generic nuclear family. This essay will explore the different functions performed by the family and see how that benefits individuals and society; whether that’s in a bad way or a good way. Functionalists believe that the family provides many functions for the individual and for society. Parsons and Murdock, two functionalists believe that the family is the primary agent of socialisation for an individual; the family is an important organ in the body of society. Murdock saw the family, the nuclear family in particular, an absolute need for society and he considered the four basic functions of the family to be the sexual, the reproductive, the socialisation and the economic. He carried out a study all over the world and said that the family is a universal thing and these are universal functions that everyone else follows too. Without the family, we wouldn't have food and shelter otherwise life itself would cease. Parsons believes that without the family we would have primary socialisation and stabilisation of the adult personality, furthermore, without culture and the shared values passed on from generations to generations- society wouldn’t exist
Open Document