Assess the View That the Nuclear Family Functions to Benefit All It Members and Society of a Whole

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Assess the view that the nuclear family functions to benefit all its members and society as a whole. A nuclear family is universal and is defined as a two generational grouping; consisting of a father, mother and their children, all living in the same household. The idea of the nuclear family was first noticed in Western Europe in 17th century. The concept that narrowly defines a nuclear family is essential to the stability in modern society and has been promoted by modern social conservatives in the United States and has been challenged inadequate to describe the complexity of actual family relations. In this essay, I shall be assessing the views that the nuclear family functions to benefit all its members and society as a whole, from a Functionalist, Feminist and a Marxist perspective. In order to assess these views, it’s necessary to first establish the functions that the nuclear family performs and then to assess whether these do benefit all family members and the wider society. Functionalists believe that society is based on a value consensus into which society socialises its members. This enables them to cooperate harmoniously to meet society’s needs and achieve shared goals. Functionalists regard society as a system that depend on each other such as the family the education system and the economy. Functionalists stress the positive role of the nuclear family in providing for the basic needs of each individual and all of its members and how important it is for the efficient working of society and the maintenance of social order. A functionalist’s view of the family sees the interaction of the family with society’s institutions as harmonious and based on consensus and that these inter-relationships contribute to social solidarity. Functionalists look at what the nuclear family does for the whole of society, not just certain people. To Functionalists the nuclear family is at the heart of society and essential for its smooth running. Murdock argued that...
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