Assess Marxist views in understanding the function of the family. (24)
Marxists are all in agreement that there are several functions of the family that are fulfilling for capitalism. Being a structural conflict theory, Marxism is a believer in the separation of classes and the oppression of the lower working class. Marxist sociologists Argue against functionalists about the functions of the family. Marxists would argue that capitalist society is separated in to two social classes. The first class is known as the capitalist class, this class owns everything, including land, labour and machinery. Then there is the working class, who capitalists use to make a profit in which they keep for themselves. This view of the family has been developed throughout the age of the industrial revolution. Before the forces of production developed, there was no class. Marx called this classless society ‘’primitive communism’’. After the development of production and wealth started to increase, Private property started to appear. This was when the separation of the classes appeared. After this, a class of men appeared, with their private property and immense wealth the gained control of the means of production. Engels would say that monogamy became more important so that the children of the capitalist classes would be able to inherit their parent’s property, companies and wealth. Also, Engels would say that the rise of the nuclear family represented ‘a historical defeat of the female sex’. As women were becoming wives to working, successful husbands, they then became instruments designed directly to do housework and socialise the children. A criticism of this would be that Marxists ignore other family types, such as single-parent families and same-sex partnerships. Also that Marxists ignore things such as domestic violence within a household. Functionalists would argue that Marxists ignore other things the family was designed for such as moral support and intimacy. As Marxists...
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