Within sociology there are many different perspectives on the family. Each different perspective sees different things as the main role of the family. Marxists view the family in a very disparaging light. They believe that the main role of the family is to serve the interest of capitalism and bourgeoisie. Marxists also believe that the family cushions the main provider.
Karl Marx's view on the capitalistic mode of production highlights the exploitative nature of the economic system. He displays how the bourgeoisie take advantage of the proletariat and their labour, the proletariat are a tool used to create profit and to keep profit margins at acceptable levels. Marx argues that the monogamous bourgeois nuclear family developed to help solve the problem of the inheritance of private property. The men needed to know who their children were in order to pass on their property to their heirs. The family was therefore thought to be by Marxists as designed to control women and protect property. The Bourgeois nuclear family emerged with capitalism. It is patriarchal as designed to guarantee and encourage male power through the inheritance of property. It therefore serves the interests of capitalism.
Marxists say that the family serves capitalism in four ways. Firstly the family socialises their children, they reproduce labour power and have an acceptance of capitalism. Secondly women’s domestic work is unpaid which benefits capitalism (this would be an argument that is also put forward by feminists). Thirdly the family acts as a comfort for the stresses and frustrations of working class men they are there to ‘Cushion the main provider’. Lastly the family as a unit of consumption buys the goods and services provided by capitalism. The claim that capitalistic societies are exploitative societies also appears to be true when you take into account the relationship between... [continues]
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