Family Essay

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The common definition of the term family is ‘a group of people related either by blood or marriage, living together as a unit’. Family structures are very much like a social system which is led by the norms of society that encourage certain patterns or routines of behaviour. The Nuclear family which consists of two married parents and their children is what is usually portrayed as the perfect family. The idea of a nuclear family is what society has believed in being the only and acceptable family structure. In this day and age the word family has become a word that can not be given a solid defined meaning. A functionalist would view the concept of a nuclear family as very positive and will allow all the needs of society to be met. A nuclear family will allow reproduction to continue, both mother and father will be at hand to teach their children the norms and values of society and both parents can ensure that all the financial needs of the family are taken care of. The functionalist view of families has been criticized and have been accused of ignoring factors such had domestic violence, gender inequality and divorce rates all within nuclear families. Linking to the issue of inequality within nuclear families, feminist theorists have argued that the idea of a nuclear family has affected society’s expectation of women. Especially in the 20th century women within a nuclear family were expected to be housewives, working mothers/women were frowned upon, and although this ideology has dissolved as society as changed, some nuclear families still work in this way. The man of the house, the father, the husband, is usually the main and only bread winner of the home. Feminist began to argue against the idea that if a woman was to stray from this ideology then her family would be considered less than perfect. Today a mother’s role is more than just a housewife, a single mother is praised for being the breadwinner, homemaker and parent all in one, and each day more and more...
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