Firstly, whether a family live in a symmetrical family or not will have an effect on the divisions of labour. March of Progress theorists (Liberal Feminists) such as Young and Willmott argue that family life is gradually improving for all its members, becoming more equal and democratic. For example, women now go out to work, just as men now help with housework and childcare. However Radical 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.
Using material from Item 2B and elsewhere, assess the contribution of feminist sociologists to an understanding of family roles and relationships (24 marks) Feminists have helped change the tradition view of the family. There are two types of feminists; liberal and radical. As shown in the item they take a ‘critical view’ of the family arguing that it is patriarchal and focus on the ‘gender inequalities’ in housework and violence against women. They believe gender inequality is created by society and is not natural. Functionalist Murdock suggested as children we are socialised into societies shared norms and values and he believed that males provide the economic roles and females provided the expressive role.
Outline and assess functionalist and new right views on the family This essay aims to explore the views of the functionalist and new rights approach on the family. Functionalists argue that the family is the most important institution in society as it benefits both the individual and society. They have the most positive view on the family, and state that it performs vital functions for the maintenance of society. Their main emphasis is on the nuclear family which is the stereotypical family of married, heterosexual parents with children - they tend to ignore any other family types. The approach presents the family as a family isolated from wider kinships because of the mobility required by labour markets in industrial societies.
Marxist altercate that woman will never receive liberation from patriarchal control with the means of capitalism and private ownership nearby. Nevertheless some may argue Marxist and Engles view stating that men can marry for love rather than the need for a child in fact there are many successful couples in modern society who remain childless without a heir to their fortunes. Another point that Marxist point out is the fact that many families today preform key functions that surrender to capitalism. One way in which families do this by socialising children in to an idea hierarchy and inequalities are inevitable. Parents power over children making them accustom to the idea that there is always someone above or better than them.
Another view of functionalists is Seer, this is the idea that the family have different roles. Sexually - to fulfil sexual desires, Educationally - educate their children, Emotionally - support teach other emotionally and Reproductively - to procreate. Functionalists believe the nuclear family fulfils all these needs and is there fore perfect. However their is an argument to this claim by feminists. They argue about the Dark Side of the Family, this includes domestic abuse, something functionalists tend to ignore.
In this way, children are socialised into values which benefit capitalism, such as acceptance of hierarchy and inequality, not the ‘universal’ values of society as functionalists believe. Feminist sociologists, like Marxist sociologists, believe that the family teaches children norms and values that benefit one group in society. Marxist feminists believe that children are taught values which benefit capitalism and ensure the exploitation of women, such as an acceptance that it is ‘natural’ for women to perform unpaid domestic labour. Radical feminists, on the other hand, believe that children are taught norms and values which benefit men. Connective However, whilst each of these perspectives agree that socialisation is a key function performed by families, they also believe that the family performs other functions which may be of equal or
Functionalism vs. Marxism The Functionalist theory believes in a family that is perfect for the industrial society in which we live. The family type more often described by modern functionalists is that of a nuclear variety, idealised as white, middle class, male & female, having children and holding typical western values. Functionalists believe that the family has vital functions to carry out; one of the main functions is passing on of traditional values, another main function would be the socialisation of children and, carrying on, the stabilisation of the adult personality. The Functionalist theory relies heavily on the nuclear family, It is of common belief amongst functionalists that the nuclear family with two parents and dependent children living together in a home is a necessity for the industrial society to thrive. Murdock, a functionalist, states that the family has four functions: sexual, economic, reproductive and educational, He argued that the family needs these four factors and he argues that they are the family's purposes.
Examine the different functions performed by the family for individuals and for society. There are many functions performed by a family, however these have declined since industrialisation. In the essay I will be delving into different views of the family and what its role is in society. There are three main views on the family these are; Functionalist, Marxist and feminist, each has its own unique outlook on how a family should be run. The functionalist outlook is that there are shared norms which everyone in the society must follow to work together to achieve the society’s needs.
They are used in societies to create an almost ideal way of life. They are a way to get people to do what you want. Organisations/ Governments that strive for power will try to influence the ideology of a society to become what they want it to be by broadcasting their ideas. One can see from how much effort is put by governments etc. into selling their ideology to the people how important a role ideologies play.
Functionalist contribution to our understanding of the family Within sociology there are many different views on family whether it is a positive or negative part of society which includes functionalism, New Right, Critical views, Feminism and Marxism. They have a different functionalist contribution to our understanding of the family. Functionalist view the family as an institution which improves society by obtaining equilibrium, social order and stability while at the same time meeting the needs of all the member in society. They see the nuclear as positive fort society. For example, Murdock saw the family as reproducing the next generation and socializing them into the shared culture.