The Stepford Wives

Topics: Nuclear family, Family, Mother Pages: 1 (374 words) Published: April 12, 2013
Functionalism Theory
A good wife always knows her place (The Good Wife’s guide, slide 15). I think that this is a key statement when describing structural functionalism in the 1940’s and 1950’s. In this era of time we do not see many variations within the family. When you compared Family A, B, and C, you would find that all were nuclear families or a traditional families consisting of a father, mother, and children. To construct a theory based on the structural functionalism was a much simpler task as families were alike, general roles were assigned and followed and the family functioned in very similar ways. I decided to use the 1994 version of “The Stepford Wives” to display functionalism theory. In the movie, the Everhart family moves to Connecticut in the Stepford community after Johanna loses her job. Once they arrive to their new home they notice that all the families were modern day 40’s and 50’s families. The husband is the bread winner of the family. He goes to work, he comes home, relaxes, and goes to the gentleman’s club or golfing. The wife stays home all day, doing all household chores in preparation for her husband to come home. She always has dinner ready, meanwhile looking perfect in her outer appearance. The children learn their gender specific tasks such fixing the car, sports, and sewing clothing, or cooking. Within time, they follow suit and become just like the rest of the community. As soon as we read the Good Wife in class, I thought of this movie and how their systems are very much similar. Parsons and Bales implied that the “ideal” family is one that meets its societal functions best when its structure is aligned with those functions (Slide 26). We can see that this happened precisely in the movie. However, in order to have a system function at its highest, you must have some form of conflict or internal struggle to even it all out. Even though, it obviously would not happen in the real world, the movie shows that as the...
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