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Assess The Contribution Of Functionalism To Our Understanding Of The Family

644 words - 3 pages

Functionalist sociologists believe that the family is important; a key institution in society as it performs vital necessities for each member within it and maintains order and stability within the community. According to Murdock and his study of 250 societies, the family provides the reproduction of the future generations and passes down vital norms and beliefs learnt for the future however another Functionalist, Parsons, argues that the family is affected by industrialisation and demands a geographically mobile workforce. Parsons also claims that the family allows the socialisation of children and the stabilisation of adult personalities, therefore passing down these values and beliefs to ...view middle of the document...

Another criticism of the Functionalist view of the family is the Marxist-Feminist’s claim that the Nuclear family supports capitalism and the benefits of a patriarchal society. They believe that capitalism is the main oppression, which also leads to the family as being oppression. The family allows the traditional housewife/mother role and imposes unfair burdens on women but that their apparent readiness to accept this role provides services to their husbands at low cost. Functionalists ignore this and believe that all roles in the family are equal and accepted, as it also ignores each individual within the family as it is a macro perspective and counts the family as one unit which contributes to the stabilisation of society and the communities within.
Functionalist sociologists have claimed optimistically that modern capitalist societies are essentially democratic, meritocratic and based upon consensus and that nuclear families contribute both to the happiness of their individual members and to the continued stability of societies as a whole , for example...

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