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Information about functfam

Published on February 24, 2008

Author: Christian


Functionalist View of the Family:  Functionalist View of the Family A learning resource from Functionalism:  Functionalism Functionalists believe every institution in society contributes to the smooth running of society. To functionalists the family is at the heart of society. Murdock (1949) claimed that the nuclear family is so useful to society that it is inevitable and universal (appearing everywhere) (The New Right views of the family studied last week are really neo-functionalism) Murdock and the Universality of the family:  Murdock and the Universality of the family Murdock claimed that he had found evidence of nuclear families in the 250 different societies he studies The family is universal because it fullfills the following essential functions for society Sexual – controls sexuality, provides stability for adults Reproductive – provides new members of society. Economic – family provides for its members. Educational – family socialises the young into societies norms and values. Talcott Parsons:  Parsons (1902-79) – there are two basic irreducible functions of the family Primary socialisation – through which children learn to accept the value the norms and values of society The stabilisation of adult personalities – the family gives adults the emotional support necessary to cope with the stresses of everyday life Talcott Parsons Functionalism:  Functionalism The isolated and ‘private’ nuclear family The functionalist view suggests that the nuclear family has become ·         Socially isolated from extended kin ·         More reliant on the Welfare State ·         Geographically separated from wider kin   The family is self-contained, inward looking with little contact with neighbours and community. Home leisure via TV, Video, Internet etc. have made the family more home-centred . Functionalism:  Criticisms Functionalists have been accused of idealising the family. Ignoring conflict and abuse within families Ignoring gender inequality within families Ignoring the rising divorce rates Ignoring growing family diversity Functionalism Sources:  Sources CGP AS Revision Guide E-Sociology Back to Lessons Home

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