Family Essay

Topics: Sociology, Family, Feminism Pages: 2 (985 words) Published: January 13, 2015
To what extent do sociologists believe the Nuclear Family to be functional? (12 Marks) The Nuclear Family is a traditional family type that is tied by blood and marriage, it will include a mother, father and a dependent child/children. The Nuclear family is seen as a positive part of society by consensus theorists such as functionalists and the new right, whereas it’s seen as a negative by conflict theorists such as feminists. Functionalist theorists see the nuclear family as an important aspect of society and a key institution. Functionalists believe society to work like the human body (organic analogy) and if a child fails at 1 institution they will fail at the rest, such as education and then work. The Nuclear Family serve 4 functions in our society, all of which serve the social structure. The first function is reproduction. This is creating the next generation of our society and also the next labour force and also childrearing, usually done by the mother as the father will be at work. The next function is socialisation. The family is the first socialisation a child comes into contact with, known as primary socialisation, and is key to them conforming to society, having been taught social norms and values as part of culture. The third function is emotional support. This will come from the mother and females in the family as they have the expressive role whereas males will have the instrumental role. The final function the nuclear family provides is economic provision. This is financially supporting the family, providing food and shelter and will usually be done by the father who is traditionally known as the breadwinner. There are 2 main theorists surrounding the functionalist view on the Nuclear Family. The first is Murdock. Murdock also believed that the nuclear family provides 4 main functions, very similar to the functionalists, and have the same functions however Murdock replaces emotional support with that of Monogamy. Monogamy is staying with 1...
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