Using Materials from Item a and Elsewhere Assess the Contribution of Functionalism to Our Understanding of Families and Households.

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Samantha Lowe

Using Materials from Item A and elsewhere assess the contribution of functionalism to our understanding of families and households.

Functionalism focuses on the positive roles played by different institutions of society, the main one being the family. Functionalism see family as a vital organisation in all societies, they are needed to meet basic needs. Functionalism stresses the positive role of the family, and its great importance for society. Functionalists argue that the family has essential functions which it must perform to meet the basic needs of society and its members. Murdock argues that this makes the family a universal institution. In performing these functions the family links up with other institutions, providing future pupils for education, workers for the economy, potential governmental opportunities, and so on. Murdock argues that the family perform four simple functions; which are sexual – this is where you satisfy your needs with one partner, reproductive – this is where you reproduce for the next generation, economic, and socialisation – being able to socialise your children. Murdock argues that the importances of these functions are so vital that they have to exist everywhere. Other sociologists such as Parsons argue that the family has to provide the primary socialisation of children, to ensure the safety of society’s culture and the stabilisation of adult personalities. The family performs VITAL functions of society, and for all the individual members’ init. “The family reproduces the next generation and thereby ensures the continuation of society over time” The quote explains that if there was no such thing as a family, then there would be no sexual satisfactions, as a result of this there would be no reproducing, and therefore could lead to the dying out of the population, which means humans would become extinct. “Functionalists tend to see the nuclear family as the ideal family type...
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