The family is a basic subsystem of the larger society. It is a building block to a bigger and better community. Everyone is born into some sort of a family or home, though there are orphanages. In our family of origin we learn to grow, develop, become socialized, develop morals, share, learn to deal with conflict, and become educated to go out into the bigger world. At this point in time my definition of family is a group of two or more people who desire to be together, to share things and ideas, and care for each other, to support each other, and contribute for the good of the whole.
Breaking Tradition Family is the core, center, and foundation of a person’s life. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary family is defined as the basic unit in society, traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children. This defines the families back in the 1950’s. Through families we pass on our values, rituals, and traditions. From families we receive encouragement, love and life lessons.
“Most of us form an emerging sense of self and acquire most of our beliefs and values within the family context. We also learn about the larger dominant culture (including language, attitudes, beliefs, values, and norms) and the primary subcultures to which our parents and other relatives belong. The role of the family is especially significant because young children have little social experience beyond the family’s boundaries (Kendall, 2013, p. 104). “For many years the standard sociological definition of family has been a group of people who are related to one another by bonds of blood, marriage, or adoption and who live together, form an economic unit, and bear and raise children” (Kendall, 2013, p. 434). When I was a child in the 60s, the typical family was a married couple consisting of a man and a woman.
Each sociological theory mentioned above: functionalism, conflict, and interactionism, presents a different set of assumptions or perspective that define a particular way of understanding of social action. To understand the different views of family, we must first understand how the theory applies to family and how each theory affects the views of individuals of the family and the views of society. A few decades ago, the most common type of family was the mother and father living with their unmarried children. Today, families are vastly different including more single-parent households than ever before, stepfamilies, and adopted families, and grandparents raising their grandchildren, as well as young married couples having to move back in with their parents because they do not have the money to afford their own living arrangements yet. Functionalists believe that the family is a positive and beneficial institution in
2. In your own words, describe what a ‘system’ is, especially as it applies to a couple or family. After carefully reading James R. Bitter Chapter one, I can describe ‘system’ as it is especially applied to a couple or family as a social and or biological construct that is made up of a set of people who are related by blood. This family “system” functions because it is a unit and every member of the family plays a critical, if not unique, role in the system. As a result, if one of the members of this system changes, it can cause a ripple effect of change throughout the family system.
My family structure expands the range of consanguine relationships, or membership by blood, and affinity relations, or membership by marriage. The marriage is patrilineal. One has to take a wife outside his kinship community. There is much emphasis placed on compatibility of the couples and social standing within the kinship community. There is much screening for hereditary illness, for insanity, and sanctions are placed on incest rules.
Although some may argue that animals should not be held in captivity. I believe that animals should live in captivity because of harm from humans, to humans, and bad living conditions. There are many reasons why humans should not keep animals in captivity. Animal parks such as Sea World and Busch Gardens are forcing animals like Killer Wales into breeding over and over. “Orcas should not be forced to endure a lifetime of captivity, and it is irresponsible for Sea World to breed more animals to lead such a life”.
Functionalists believe that the family is a basic building block of society. Promoting the nuclear family. George Murdock (1949) claims that there are four essential functions of the family: Reproduction of the next generation Economic function - meeting its members economic needs such as food and shelter. Sexual - stable satisfaction of the sex drive Educational function - socialising of children into society’s shared norms and values. Murdock also sees the family as functional not only for society at large but also for its individual members.
Louise Garfitt Assess the contribution of Functionalism to our understanding of families and households. In this essay I will be assessing the contributions of Functionalism to our understanding of families and households. Functionalism has made several contributions to our understanding of families and households. Functionalists see the family as an important step in society. For example, George Peter Murdock (1949) argues that the family performs four essential functions to meet the need of society and its members, these are: Stable satisfaction of the sex drive, sex with the same partner will prevent social disruption in the family which will keep the family together.
Introduction To what extent do sociologists argue that the family is beneficial to society? Families are crucially important to society without doubt. Most British people are born into families and then raised by a family. Most of these very same people grow up to form families of their own and take the responsibility of being a parent. Many people see the family as the normal way of life and watch television programs which revolve around family life.