Sociological Perspectives on the Family
Functionalists believed in a theory that the family is a positive institution. They believe the family perform six major functions: 1. Reproduction. Ensures that the society's population willbe maintained. This is a basic function of the family to keep the cycle of life span continuation In today's society, families are smaller and couples are delaying the child rearing experiences until their careers are established and stabilized (Schaefer, R. 2009). 2. Protection. The child at birth is complete helpless and cannot survive at all without the help of the family. It is the family which provides care, protection, security and fulfils all other needs to make him fit in the society (Schaefer, R. 2009). 3. Socialization. This is perhaps the most basic and important function of the family because it teaches its family members norms, value morals, beliefs and ideals of society. In the family the children first learn what is good and bad, what is right and wrong Schaefer, R. 2009). 4. Regulation of sexual behavior. Every society has rules that regulate sexual behavior within family units. Most cultures have incest taboos, and most disapprove of extramarital sex. Standards of sexual behavior are most clearly defined within the family circle (Schaefer, R. 2009). 5. Affection and companionship. Most people need affection, emotional support, and positive recognition from others. This sharing and support may be provided as well by friends, neighbors, coworkers, or government agencies, but none of these appears to be as effective or as permanent as a family (Schaefer, R. 2009). 6. Provision of social status.We inherit a social position because of the family background and repu- tation of our parents and siblings. The family presents the newborn child with an ascribed status based on race and ethnicity that helps to determine his or her place within society’s stratification system. Moreover, family resources affect children’s...
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