Outline and Evaluate the View That the Family Benefits Its Members

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Outline and evaluate the view that the family benefits its members. For most people, the family is thought to be a caring and loving environment in which everyone involved is looked out for and each person has their own responsibility within the family unit which they use to keep themselves happy along with the others involved. Functionalists mainly agree with this, feminists however would look at the family differently, and state it’s a patriarchal system which holds women back and helps the man gain more from the relationship. There are also sides to the family we don’t see or think about as often, and this is the dark side of the family. This is where abuse comes into the family which suggests that people are not benefiting from their family. Relating to the positive functions a family has which helps to benefit its members is the idea that the family act’s as a ‘warm bath’, meaning within the family, people can find warmth, stress relief and a welcoming, known place in which they can ‘let themselves go’ in. This theory was first created by Parson’s who said there were two functions of the family; the primary socialisation of children and the stabilisation of adult personalities. The idea of primary socialisation is that children, from early on in their lives, are taught what the norms and values are in society by their parents, this moulds the child’s personality to fit into the expectations of a social adult. Parson’s argues that families are ‘factories’ which produce these personalities. In other words, families are there to help with mutual support and guidance. The stabilization of adult personalities is this idea that once a personality has been shaped, it must be kept stable. Therefore family life and marriage are there to offer emotional security which acts as a stress relief from modern day living. However there is a darker side to the family, and we
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