Miss Essay

10207 WordsMay 19, 201541 Pages
Key Definitions: A family is usually a group of people related by marriage or blood. A household is a person living alone or a group of people living together who may or may not be related. Theories of the Family Consensus Views of the Family (+) Functionalist theories: the family performs a positive function for individuals and society. New Right theories: the family is the cornerstone of society, but it is under threat. Conflict Views of the Family (-) Marxist theories: the family provides important functions for capitalism. Feminist theories: the family reinforces gender inequality and patriarchy. Functionalist Theories GP Murdock Murdock argues that the family is a universal institution that performs four major functions: * Stable satisfaction of the sex drive with the same partner preventing social disruption e.g. rape. * Reproduction of the next generation, without which society would not be able to continue. * Socialisation of the young into society’s shared norms and values. * Meeting its members’ economic needs, such as shelter and food. Evaluation * Marxists and Feminists reject the rose tinted consensus view. * Functionalism neglects conflict and exploitation: * Feminists - family serves the needs of men and oppresses women * Marxists - family meets the needs of capitalism, and not family member. Talcott Parsons Parsons believes that there are two main functions of the family. The first function is the primary socialisation of children. This takes place in the early years of a child’s life within the family group. During this period the child learns basic elements of the culture into which she or he has been born. The second function is the stabilisation of adult personalities. The family gives the individual adults a place where he or she can relax, escape stresses and strains of the world of the

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