Assess the View That in Todays Society the Family Is Losing Its Functions

Topics: Feminism, Feminist theory, Sociology Pages: 3 (1097 words) Published: October 23, 2012
“assess the view that in todays society the family is losing its functions” (24 marks) There are many different sociologists who look in the families place in today’s society and assess the level of function to family has today. From Murdock to parsons, feminist and warm bath theory there is many different views and opinions on this statement. One of the more famous sociologists who looked at the family is G.P.Murdock; he compared over 250 societies and claimed that the nuclear family was universal, that some form of the nuclear family existed in every known society and that it performed four functions essential to the continued existence of those societies. The four functions are Reproduction (where society requires new members to ensure its survival), Sexual (this function serves both society and the individual. Unregulated sexual behaviour has the potential to be socially disruptive. However marital sex creates a powerful emotional between a couple), Educational (culture needs to be transmitted to the next generation), Economic (where adult family members show their commitment to the care, protection and maintenance of their dependants by becoming productive workers and being an income). While Murdock’s ideas are a great idea and would make a good society to live in they are also dated seeing as he wrote this in 1949, things have changed a lot since then and the family has moved on , one thing that would have changed for sure since he wrote this is the fact that women can now be the breadwinners in the family it is no longer just the men that go out to work to help the economy. So according to Murdock then family would be losing its functions because it is not fitting directly into his four main functions. Another sociologist is parsons, he saw the pre-industrial extended family as evolving into the modern nuclear family which specialised in the primary socialization of children, and he argued that the second major specialized function of the family is to...
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