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Sociological Theories of the Family Essay

Keywords: ideas of family, ideas on family, family sociology

Sociological ideas are usually thought of as, "systematic units of ideas and assertions about the social world that try to seem sensible of the sociable world". http://uregina. ca/~gingrich/j799. htm. The conclusions attracted from empirical observation and screening help individuals and culture to be better in the ways they lead their lives in this world. This essay will explain three generally commonly described sociological theories of the family that happen to be Functionalism, Marxism and Feminism.

Functionalists assume that each part of culture has a function, and they are incredibly positive about society so they always see the good in every things. By looking at world on a large scale they argue that society is dependant on consensus, and therefore we live socialised to agree on the norms and values in order to survive. Functionalists think that the family should be seen to perform functions which benefit both its customers and society in general. Relating to Murdock (1949), "the family is a general institution with universal functions". Haralambos M & Langley P. (2003) page 76.

In other words, family members are found in all societies irrespective of for example culture dissimilarities. Functions performed universally are; reproduction which keeps the people, main socialisation which teaches children the norms and worth of society, economic and educational. Functionalists believe that the next functions are essential for the wellbeing of contemporary society. Murdock strongly is convinced that the nuclear family presents all the above functions and he argues that no satisfactory replacement can replace it. Quite simply all other family constructions are detrimental to modern culture.

However, Marxists refuse the functionalists views. They are very negative about the population we are in and start to see the bad in everything. They consider there will be a revolution, for their belief that world has been dominated by the ruling course, therefore because of the working school being exploited they'll eliminate the ruling school and capitalism. They believe in equality though their main interest is on capitalist societies such as; Britain, European European countries and America. Their main debate is that companies such as young families are formed by the requirements of capitalism and serve to support and maintain it. Main emphasis is on the nuclear family, Marxists dispute that female have no rights and this men have all the power.

Marxists think that society is based on differences between the working course and ruling class. The family makes it better to uphold class distinctions in modern culture as the affluent can be able to give their children a good from life than the poor, for example by paying for good education and getting them good careers either in their own business or their friends businesses, whereas the unemployed and poor family members would struggle in those conditions. Marxists imagine the family socialises the working class to believe it is normal that the classes won't be the same.

Feminists on the other hand see the family as patriarchal (all is dominated by men); some of them are negative about modern culture. They look at culture on a big scale, plus they do generalise their ideas about males and female to the complete society. Overall they start to see the family as one of the key areas where women are oppressed by men. They claim that home labour is done by women, regardless of being in job or not. "Women make the key contributions to the family life, men acquire the key benefits". (Delphy & Leonard, 1992) Haralambos M & Langley P. (2003) page 80

Feminists consider the family is harmful to women, they claim that devices like the nuclear family impact girls and boys to learn their different gender roles within the family through socialisation. Moms' are role models to girls who learn all house tasks, whilst boys learn from their fathers, to do male duties. Then they gain understanding of how male and female assignments should be. The purpose of the family is to bolster the prominent position of men in a patriarchal world. The nuclear family is not a great family according to the feminist, lone mother or father families especially those going by women have emerged as the ideal families.

Overall, the family device today has transformed since the time of Functionalism, Marxism and Feminism, however, they may be relevant issues to some part of family life for example; roles of women and men will vary because of anatomy. Men cannot literally be pregnant to allow them to go to work with no ties on the other palm women are biologically designed to have children. Marxism and Functionalism would trust this affirmation. However feminists say this will not jeopardise women's right to work, maybe it's agreed with what feminists say that women can have children and work but should balance looking after their children with employment.

  • Haralambos M & Langley P. (2003) Sociology in Target Causeway Press
  • http://uregina. ca/~gingrich/j799. htm
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