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Assess the functionalist view that the family is functional for its members and society

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Introduction

´╗┐Amy Murray 12-AFR Assess the functionalist view that the family is functional for its members and society Functionalists look at society through ?rosy coloured glasses?. They believe that society is based on shared values in which members are socialised. They see society as an organism, each part performing functions to maintain the system as a whole; e.g. the family performs socialisation functions. Many people criticise this view of family by functionalists. Firstly, functionalists argue that families contribute to society by allowing social order and stability through giving social solidarity, value consensus and equilibrium. Social solidarity in the family is the basis of all groups/units. The idea that families do everything together, sharing a common residence and name. Value consensus in the family is when they talk together and socialize the members in the family to accept their views and values as well as traditions, which are passed down. Equilibrium in the family is the comprise and sorting out of issues and disagreements. Each member has his or her own role to perform giving respect to each other. Thus allowing stability as there is individual rules and standards. ...read more.

Middle

Moreover, functionalists? disregards stable adults who aren?t parents who are stable. Many could say that being a parent can sometimes be the cause of stress and doesn?t look at the negatives of parenting. In addition to this, they have a ?rosy view? of marriage, as not all couples are stable in marriage. There are many single people who are stable. Cohabitation could be a person?s stability. Lastly, functionalists over exaggerate parental influence, whilst some children may turn to crime, not all kids go to crime because their parents have done so. Marxists believe that the way the family functions serves to reserve and continue the important unsatisfying and un-liberating patterns of capitalism. Marxists believes that the family props up capitalism in two ways. Firstly he argues that families encourage and reproduce hierarchical in-egalitarian relationships. This is the idea that children are socialised in the family to accept patterns of authority and power. In this way they become well practised in subordinations and become obedient. He also argues that children observe and accept hierarchy. The family is based on unequal relationships between adults and children and between males and females and sometimes between older and younger siblings. ...read more.

Conclusion

a changed family structure with increased public involvement in the providing of childcare; this they believe will result in greater equality for women alongside men in the workplace. Marxists-feminists believe that the position of women in the family is the downfall in their hierarchy in the workplace and is a major problem to their freedom. Juliet Mitchell believes that gender equality will occur in the workplace when women are freed from their domestic duties. This could be seen as a weakness as some women may feel that their power within the household comes from being the sole one to clean and complete chores allowing their children to see that the mother is doing most work whilst the male will relax and or continue work at home. Margaret Benston argues that women could be more independently financial if they were paid for their domestic labour. ?His wage buys the labour power of two people? this suggests that ?his? wage has to cover the lifestyle of two people, as the wife doesn?t get paid for her labour at home. However if women did get paid for work in the home, this would cause problems for the upper class, as the money in society would become increasingly spread equally. ...read more.

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