Functionalist Veiws on the Family Essay

845 WordsDec 28, 20134 Pages
Essay This essay will explore the views functionalist have of the family and how it compares and contrasts views with theory’s in sociology. In addition this essay will include theories from feminism, Marxism and The New Right. George Murdock found that the nuclear family ran well in society. The way this worked was broken down into 4 categories. The first function was ‘sexual’. This means that the mother and father will need to have a healthy sex life in order to have a healthy and happy relationship. This also means that either partner is not likely to gave an affair as they are satisfied, and then means that children and socialised adequately as they have both the mother and father to learn from. For example if the mother and father do not have a healthy sex life this will lead to adultery and could even lead to single parenthood which is seen as a bad thing to society. This theory also links with the new right; Charles Murray thought that single parents lead to the ‘new rabble’. This meant that people in society were living off the welfare state and in long-term employment. This group is seen as dangerous because theorists believe that children will not be socialised adequately. However feminist will disagree with Murdock’s theory. The sexual function will be seen that the women are only objects in the relationship and not appreciated and only they’re to satisfy their husband. This links into the law that was only change in the early 90’s, it was legal to rape your wife because the man ‘owned’ the women therefore the women was only there to please the man. Another of Murdock’s 4 functions is ‘Reproduction’. The nuclear family is in society to reproduce the next generation. This way the family can bring up their children to work hard and either work as the proletariat or even the bourgeois. This links with parson’s theory of ascribed and achieved
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