• 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)

    However, feminist sociologist, Beechey (1986) states that in society, the family is often seen as natural, and goes without any real questioning. It is also the thought that families seem to require different things from men and from women. We are seen to need and to want to live in

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

    However she admits herself that in Britain a small minority of lone-parent households are headed by a man. Thus it is possible to argue that the female-Carer core is not the basis of every individual family, even if it is the basis of most families in all societies.

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

    Parsons believed that because industrial society required a geographically mobile work force a geographically mobile family is needed, according to Parsons it was a major reason why the family has become nuclear large three generational families cannot relocate easily, but nuclear families could.

  2. 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.

  1. Examine the contribution of feminist perspectives to an understanding of the family.

    Instead, black feminists view the black family positively as a source of support and resistance against racism. However, other feminists argue that this approach neglects the fact that, despite such differences, women do in fact share many of the same experiences.

  2. Sociology Family Revision Notes

    Relationships become part of the process of self- discovery or self-identity trying different relationships becomes a way of establishing ?who we are? Beck : risk society and the negotiated family beck 1992 Tradition less influence, more choice means risk society Aware of more risks ? involves calculating risks and rewards

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

    Some family experts see co-parenting as a characteristic of binuclear families this is when although the children move from one family to the other, inwhich both households are only one family system as far as the children are concerned. however if your parents have gone to court and your old

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

    Parsons believes this is a good thing allowing the family to maintain two ?basic and irreducible functions?, which he claims, are common to families in all societies. The primary socialisation of children, the first of the basic functions, is the idea that families shape their children?s personalities as children will

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