Functionalism vs Marxism

554 Words3 Pages
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. One of the most prevalent people in functionalism is Parsons, Parsons came up with the major theories of the family. He believed that the modern family has two core functions, which are the primary socialisation of children and the stabilisation of adult personalities. Criticisms of this functionalist belief include that it is biased towards the supposedly 'typical' American family. Another criticism of the functionalist view is that assumptions are made about industrial society. The Marxist view rejects the functionalist view that society is based on value consensus, instead the family is seen as part of the superstructure of society and it is just one of a number of institutions which serves the needs of the economic system. Marxist theories claim that the family is a specific requirement of the capitalist mode of
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