Topics: Marxism, Family, Sociology Pages: 3 (995 words) Published: May 1, 2013
The Definition of family is "A group consisting of parents and children living in a household". However this definition fails to recognise the great variability in families such as childfree couple’s single-parent families and homosexual partners.

The family is seen to support society with four vital functions; economic, reproductive, educational and sexual. The family is seen as a building block that affects society as opposed to an enslaved, misinformed family unit that is introverted. Within nuclear families, roles are allocated between husbands and wives in accordance with the assumed characteristics of their gender. Males are believed to be better suited to paid employment. Proposed female characteristics result in women more being suited to childcare and unpaid domestic work

Functionalists view the family as a positive social institution and that the socialisation of the family develops adult personalities. The gender roles that family members participate in are believed to be fair and in accordance with the instrumental characteristics of their genders. Functionalism supports Capitalism and describes it as: democratic, meritocratic, and economically efficient. Therefore the socialisation process of people within the family is also necessary and beneficial. Factualists believes a consensus exists within society that capitalism is beneficial to all of its participants.

Marxist perspectives on the family are the earliest view of the family. In the novel: "The origin of family" by Fredrick Engles (1884), Engles proposes that the family was formed out of necessity by the bourgeois as a means of property inheritance. The family is also viewed as intentionally domineering of women whose role as a wife is described as "legal prostitution" and protecting of property. It is male controlled to guarantee and maintain male power through the inheritance of property and wealth. Engles did propose a positive aspect of family union between members of the...
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