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Sociological theories of the family. Functionalism, marxism and feminism perspectives

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Introduction

P1- Use sociological terminology to describe the principal sociological perspectives in five fact sheets Functionalism in relation to the family- Functionalism is a structural theory; this means that it sees social structure (the social organisation of society) as more important than the individuals. This means it is a "top-down" theory that looks at society rather than the individuals included in it. In functionalism, society is considered more important because an individual is produced by the society and because, people are the product of the social influences upon them: their family, friends, educational background and their exposure to the media. But I am focusing on what functionalists see the family's role to be and how they define it. They see the family as a positive aspect of society- They believe that the nuclear family is a positive institution that is beneficial to society; they look at the functions that the nuclear family performs for the good of society as a whole. These functions include: -Reproduction - the family has children which means the human race keeps going, and also regulates sexual desires -Primary socialisation - the family teaches children norms (acceptable behaviour) ...read more.

Middle

New Right in relation to the family- See the family as NEGATIVE for society if it is not a nuclear family. They have similar views to Functionalists. They believe that the nuclear family is very important to society. They say that children from nuclear families: * Do better at school * Get better jobs * Do not turn to crime The New Right believe that Single parents and same sex couples are bad for society. Interactionism in relation to the family- - Interactionists look at society on a MICRO scale [this means that they look at society on a small scale]. They do not want to generalise their ideas to the whole of society. - Interactionists study how people behave in small scale situations. For example they would not look at what education does for the whole of society, but they would look at one class in a school and look at how the teachers and pupils treat each other. They would then look at how this affects exam results. - Interactionists are interested in looking at how people interact with each other [i.e. how people behave with each other] in different situations, e.g. ...read more.

Conclusion

We 'know' unmarried women shouldn't really be mothers but, once married, we 'know' they should be mothers. Such 'knowledge', however, is a cultural feature, which has emerged, historically, just as ordinary languages have done. Therefore, just as we'd be pretty stupid to claim that one of the languages we have learnt - say French - is 'better', or more accurate, or 'truer' than another, - say Spanish - so we should realise that other forms of knowledge from our own are not better or worse - or more accurate at depicting reality - but just different ways of knowing. Our ways of defining our world, are no nearer 'The Truth' than any others. Thus, those subjected to other discourses in other cultures 'know' different truths. For example, the members of some cultures 'know' marriages should be arranged for economic and political reasons rather than because of romantic attachment; members of some cultures 'know' that young girls should be circumcised or 'protected' to ensure their chastity before marriage; while the members of some cultures 'know' that polygyny - a husband with more than one wife - or polyandry - a wife with more than one husband - is the 'right' arrangement for married men and women. ?? ?? ?? ?? Unit 7 Sociological Perspectives in Health and Social Care Task 1 (P1) Joanne Watson ...read more.

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