Functions of the Family Sociology

Topics: Sociology, Feminism, Nuclear family Pages: 3 (729 words) Published: November 25, 2013
Closed book-Timed conditions- Essay Nabeela

Functionalist socioligsts take a positive perspective on the family. They believe that society is based on a value consesus which is a set of shared norms and values. They believe that the family is a sub-system which makes up society as a whole.

The functionalist sociologist Murdock beieve that the family is universal and performs 4 essential function. Item A refers to two of these, 'the stable satisfaction of the sex drive' anmd 'the family reproduces the next generation'. The other two functions are socialising the young and meeting its members economic needs such as food and shelter. If families perform these functions within society then it is positive.

However there are criticisms of Murdocks view on the family. Marxists and Feminists argue that functionalism neglects conflict and exploitation. Feminists see the family as exploiting and opressing women because of the patriarchal system within families. Marxists argue that the family is exploted within society because of capitalism dominating society.

More so, the functionalist perspective on the family is supported by the sociologist Parson. He distinguishes between two types of families and two types of societies, the nuclear family and extended and the pre-industrial society nd industrial. Parsons view of the family performing essential functions is that it depends on what type of society it is found on. The industrial has essential needs such as the geographical mobile workforce. This is when ht nuclear family is best suited for industrial society because of soicety being industrialised more over the year. In the pre-indutrial society families used to live in an exntened family as most of them lived on farms, however as there were more new jobs created by society industrialising people had to move to another part of the country or the world which made nuclear families more dominant within society....
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