• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the view that the nuclear family functions to benefit all its members and society as a whole

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Sociology Essay: Using Information from items A, B, C and elsewhere, assess the view that the nuclear family functions to benefit all its members and society as a whole. The Nuclear Family is formed from two generations, i.e. an adult heterosexual marriage and their dependent children, all living, in the same household. Each theoretical perspective all have different opinions on what the nuclear family represents. For example feminists believe the nuclear family suggests the woman would have to stay at home to cook, clean and tend the children while the man would have a job and provide the family with wealth. However, in less than 40 years, the proportion of households fitting this nuclear family description has dropped from 52 per cent to just 36 per cent of people in the U.K living as a Nuclear family. Here is a short essay discussing my view of different theoretical perspectives on whether the Nuclear family benefits all its members and society as a whole. Functionalists believe that society is based on a value consensus ? a set of shared norms and values ? into which society socialises its members. This enables them to cooperate harmoniously to meet society?s needs and achieve shared goals. Functionalists see the family as a particularly important to society because it plays the dominant role amongst all social institutions in making individuals feel part of wider society. ...read more.

Middle

They also believe that the nuclear family functions to benefit capitalism and, therefore, the wealthy rather than the whole of society. As it states in Item B ?they argue that there exists a domestic division of labour in which men exploit women. Some feminists see this as a product of capitalism, while others claim that families were characterized by patriarchy well before industrialization came along.? Patriarchy ideology is a term used by feminists, which means male-dominated ideas. Barrett and McIntosh?s ?The Anti-Social Family?: the anti-social family of the title is the conventional nuclear family. They argue that the nuclear family is anti-social not only because women are oppressed within it but also because it is promoted as the only right way to live; all alternatives are seen as inadequate or even deviant. The many people who find that the Nuclear families do not work for them are then made to feel that they have failed in some way. Barrett and McIntosh describe the effects of this promotion of a familial ideology as familialism, analogous to racism and sexism. The radical ? feminists also argue that the nuclear family mainly functions to benefit men because gender-role socialization results in males and females subscribing to a set of ideas that largely confirm male power and superiority. ...read more.

Conclusion

Evaluating Marxism and feminist theories of the family. Feminist theories of the family have dated fairly badly, because they fail to account for recent economic and social changes, such as the feminisation of the economy, the educational success of young females, women?s use of divorce, and many women?s rejections of domestic labour as their unique responsibility. Also, feminists theories portray women as passively accepting their lot ? the reality, however, is that women can adopt a range of active social identities today, may of which do not involve playing a secondary role to men. In other words, many young women are resisting traditional male definitions of what their role should be. As well as, all three theories are guilt of overemphasising the nuclear family and neglecting the rich diversity of family types in modern society. Finally, Marxism and feminism are also very critical of the nuclear family but fail to offer any practical alternatives to it. To conclude, I believe that the ?nuclear family? used to be a very suitable family structure, however times have changed and its now very un-acceptable for domestic violence and abusive partners to be allowed to continue their violence. Therefore I believe nowadays people don?t have the choice to live as a nuclear family, and even if they did I disagree that it benefits all its members and society because I agree with the Marxists point of view that the nuclear family reproduces and maintains inequality. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Family & Marriage section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Family & Marriage essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Critically examine the Functionalist idea that the nuclear family exists for the benefit of ...

    5 star(s)

    This inequality is supported by the use or the threat of male violence against women and the nuclear unit reproduces this patriarchal ideology that is not for the benefit of all of society, especially not women. Additionally, Feminists argue that primary socialization of children ensures the inheritance of male dominance and female submission is reproduced generation after generation.

  2. Examine the view that the nuclear family is universal. (24)

    If this argument is accepted, it is possible to see the matrifocal family as the basic, minimum family unit and other family structures as additions to this unit. This view is supported by Ynina Sheeran. She argues the female-carer core is the most basic family unit.

  1. Examine the effects of industrialization on the structure of the family

    Stage two families also depended on other female relatives for support in time of need, in sort of mutual aid system.

  2. Sociology The Family

    (ASCHNCSociologyBSK/Family 11.8.07:20) The theories are different as functionalism emphasises stability, cohesion and consensus. The family is seen as functional and necessary. In comparison Marxism has shown that the interests of powerful groups have come to influence the way in which the family is structured today and argues that the economical

  1. Assess the view that marriage and family life benefit men more than they benefit ...

    Young and Willmott argue that men are now taking a greater share of domestic tasks and more women are becoming wage earners. Feminist sociologists reject Parsons' view and argue it only benefits men.

  2. Assess the view that gender roles and relationships have become more equal in modern ...

    He suggested that those families with economic problems are more likely to have domestic conflict due to increased amount of stress; creating an unstable relationship. This shows how gender roles and relationships cannot be equal as the inequality within the family enables domestic violence.

  1. Analyse how the family structure has changed over the last 100 years

    However, reconstituted families are one of the fastest growing family forms in Britain, currently making up one in ten of all families . Worringly step parents are more likely to be in poverty as there are more children and the step father may be supporting other children from another family.

  2. Is the nuclear family in decline?

    called Invitrol Fertilization which involves implantation of a fertilized egg in a woman?s womb and the woman may or may not be the one producing the egg. The issue of surrogate motherhood which involve one woman carrying a foetus produced by the egg of another woman, and this Calhoan sees

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work