Patriarchy on Family Life Has Declined in Modern Industrial Society Essay

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Patriarchy, a form of social organization in which the male (father) has the most authority in the family, the family/society is male dominated. Equality is the state of being equal in status, rights and opportunities. Within relationships equality has changed over many years. Roles and opportunities have changed as a result of social factors and movements such as feminism and change in cohabitation and same sex marriages. In relationships domestic housework, opinions, childcare and career opportunities have all been affected by equality. Functionalism is a systems theory so it looks at each part or element of society in terms of the contribution it makes to efficient and harmonious functioning of the whole social structure or system. You might also remember the idea of the ‘organic analogy’; the idea that society is like an organism and needs specialist parts to carry out particular functions. Well, in terms of these sorts of ideas, functionalists have always tended to see the family as a key building block of society. Theorists like the American sociologist Parsons, argued that the family had changed and developed as society changed. In a pre-industrial society, large, extended family networks were functional, providing not just social relationships and help. They were also economic structures, as many people worked with or in their family unit – the family was then a unit of production. But an industrial society, Parsons argued, needed a different sort of family. A smaller, more geographically mobile unit – the nuclear family – and it became much more of a unit of consumption, rather than production. It needed this because large scale, industrial societies are meritocratic. They need to be he argued, in order to be fully productive; they simply would not succeed if they permitted the existence of the sort of privileged classes and cliques promoted by

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