Functionalism, Marxism and Feminism Are Common Theories. Using the Family and Education System as Examples, Evaluate Their Effectiveness in Explaining the Social System.

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Functionalism, Marxism and Feminism are common theories. Using the family and education system as examples, evaluate their effectiveness in explaining the social system. In this assignment, I am going to explain the theories of Functionalism, Marxism and Feminism. I will give examples that expand the definitions and show that such ideologies still have an impact on the society we live in. Functionalism is a macro theory, which looks at society as a whole rather than focuses on each individual. It is a theory that concentrates on the harmony between social institutions in society that is based on a consensus view rather than a conflict view as a Marxism theory. As a comparison to society as a whole, Functionalists use an organic analogy as an example. Each organ of the human body has a different job to do and if one part became ill or diseased, the rest could be contaminated or will produce changes in other parts. Similarly the operation of any society is dependent on its social institutions as they provide vital functions which maintain harmony, stability and solidarity within a society. G P Murdock and Talcott Parsons are the main Functionalists of family. According to Talcott Parsons the family has lost many of its functions, but still has two important functions. The primary socialisation of children: children learn norms and values in their society from their parents, who teach them what is right and what is wrong. Murdock argued that the nuclear family was a universal social institution and has four important parts to play in keeping society functioning: reproductive, economic, sexual and education function. Functionalists criticise lone parent families, extended, gay/lesbian families and refer to them as dysfunctional families. According to Functionalism, the lack of a father figure is the main concern in this theory and leads to many negative effects on
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