Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere, Asses the Contribution of Functionalism to Our Understanding of Families and Households. (24 Marks)

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Using Material from Item A and elsewhere, asses the contribution of functionalism to our understanding of families and households. (24 marks) Functionalist, a structuralism approach who believes our behaviour is determined by society, they believe behaviour is constrained social forces and government and the individual is made and controlled by society therefore according to this approach every individual is a product of society. Functionalist theory belongs to this approach and takes a consensus view. This is the agreement that every shares the same values and society works in harmony. Functionalist believes every institution has its own purpose in order to exist. They compare the social institutions to the organs in the body, this theory is known as the analogy of body; they believe family is the most important ‘organ’ and functionalists believe the family has essential functions that needs to perform to meet the society’s needs. In this essay, I will mention Murdock and his 4 main functions that a family must perform, Parson and his 2 main functions, and Parsons’ warm bath theory. Unlike some sociological perspectives, functionalism takes a very positive view of the families and households. They believe nuclear family (and sometimes extended) family is the most ideal family because it is the only family that can perform all those functions that a family should in order to meet and achieve the society’s needs.Murdock, a functionalist believes a family is responsible to perform 4 main functions included sexual, economic, education and reproductive. Sexual is where children must be raised by their biological parents therefore most societies have limited sexual relationships outside marriages to prevent conflict and help the society remain stable such as the UK government only allow to marry one person at a time and only of opposite gender, although now we
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