Sociology Paper on Functionalist

Topics: Sociology, Marriage, Family Pages: 3 (987 words) Published: May 14, 2013
Q. Describe the different forms of marriage patterns found across cultures. A. Marriage is a legally recognized and socially approved arrangement between two or more individuals that carries certain rights and obligation and usually involves sexual activities. In the United States, the only legally sanctioned form of marriage is monogamy which is a marriage between two partners usually a man and a woman. Polygamy is the concurrent marriage of a person of one sex with two or more members of the opposite sex. The most prevalent form of polygamy is polygyny the con current marriage of one man with two or more woman. Polygyny has been practiced in a number of societies; including parts of Europe until the Middle Ages more recently Islamic societies in Africa and Asia have been polygynous; however the cost of providing for multiple wives and numerous children makes the practice impossible for all but the wealthiest men. The second type of polygamy is polyandry the concurrent marriage of one woman with two or more men. Polyandry is very rare, when it does occur, it is typically found in societies where men greatly out number women because of high rates of female infanticide.

Q. Describe the functionalist perspectives on families.
A. functionalist emphasize the importance of the family in maintaining the stability of society and the well being of individuals. According to Emile Durkheim, marriage is a microcosmic replica of the larger society; both marriage and the society involve a mental and moral fusion of physically distinct individuals. Durkheim also believed that a division of labor contributes to greater efficiency in all areas of life even though he acknowledged that this division imposes significant limitations on some people. Contemporary functionalist perspectives on families derive their foundation from Durkheim. Division of labor makes it possible for families to fulfill a member of functions that on other institution can perform as effectively. In...
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