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According to the functionalist sociologist the family is key institution of society, as it performs vital functions for the maintenance of society

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Introduction

´╗┐The family is a unique part of society, which is found in every country and culture in the world, however some sociologist may say it is impossible to define the family, as there many different forms of family across the world. According to the functionalist sociologist the family is key institution of society, as it performs vital functions for the maintenance of society as a whole and for the benefits of all the individual members, therefore the functionalist believe the society is a useful system made up of different part of sub system that depends on each other such as the family, the education system and the economy. Moreover Functionalists take a consensus view of the role of the family, as they see it as universal institution that performs essentials functions for the society as a whole. Functionalists see society as being like a living organism, made up of many different parts which all perform particular functions. In 1949, George Peter Murdock (functionalist) analysed societies across the world and came up with four basic functions, which he said all families in all societies performed. ...read more.

Middle

Parson argues that the usefulness of the society is that the nuclear family fits the needs of the industrial society while, the extended family fits the needs of pre-industrial society. Parson sees the industrial society as having two essential needs. First of all ?A geographically mobile workforce? which is vital in modern industrial society as Parson argues that it is easier for the compact two generation nuclear family, with just dependent children to move to where the jobs are, than to move with three-generation extended family. Therefore nuclear family is better fitted to the need that modern industry; however in tradition pre-industrial society, people often spent their whole lives living in the same village, working on the same farm whereas in modern society is much more geographically mobile means easier to move around in different part of the world. Secondly ?A socially mobile workforce? is based on constantly evolving sciences and technology and so it requires a skilled technically competent workforce. It is therefore essential that talented people are able to win promotion and take on the most important jobs in the modern society, well as individuals status is achieved by their own effort and ability and not ascribed by their social and family background. ...read more.

Conclusion

to sum up interpretive sociologist argue that functionalist concentrate too much on the importance of the family to society and ignore the meaning the family has for individuals. The family is an important part of society and it fulfils certain functions. Despite all the theories have disadvantage which do make some function irrelevant to some people; it shows that the family does have many different functions. Family is a unique institution within society, and has a combination of different roles to play, including reproduction and socialisation of children, and consuming products to help the economy. Some views, such as those of functionalists, believe it is the only institution able to do these functions, and the New Right view goes as far as to say only the nuclear family can adequately meet the requirements. Most sociologists believe the family is a benefit to society in the functions it performs, whereas feminists and Marxists see it as helping to maintain injustice in society. However, without the functions that the family perform, the society we know today wouldn?t exist as it wouldn?t be running as smoothly. What the family teaches us through its set of functions is vital to enable children of future generations to be successful adults and continue the smooth running of everyday society. Raihan Latif Sociology Essay - Functionalism ...read more.

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