Critically Evaluate the Marxist Perspsctive of the Family

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  • Topic: Marxism, Capitalism, Karl Marx
  • Pages : 3 (925 words )
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  • Published : December 26, 2010
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Critically evaluate the Marxist perspective of the family
According to Marx’s perspective, family is seen as an obstruction to achieve the communist goals, as it is crucial to passing the established order such as cultural ideals on to the next generation. However, Marx was focused on social class rather than the role of family, it was his friend Engels trace the evolution of the family in “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State” (1884 , Zurich) In this context, this essay will evaluate the function of family based upon Marxist perspective. For this intention, Engel’s and other Marxist views of family will be demonstrated firstly, along with a common criticism. Secondly, it will explain the functions of family in looking at the Functionalist and the Feminist perspectives. Finally, a general comparison between those different views will be indicated, and to which extent forming a non-scholar estimate towards Marxists view. Engels claimed that the monogamous bourgeois nuclear family emerged with the Capitalism. That is, the family concerned about the inheritance of private property. And by ensuring sexual loyalty of the female through marriage, it made the male convince that he had passed on his property to his legitimate heirs which were actually his. In a sense, the family was patriarchic which intended to ensure perpetuate male power and thereby pertained to capitalism. In looking at other Marxist view, it points out that family maintains and serves capitalism. Firstly, In respect of ideological reproduction, family is the primary agent of socialization whereby to form and transmit the value consensus of capitalism. Secondly, in terms of the domestic division of labour, the capitalist system exploits the free domestic labour of the housewife; therefore the physical reproduction is costless. Thirdly, family provides an outlet for the pressure and frustrations engendered by the alienating work of a capitalist economy. Finally, the family...
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