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Functionalist Views of the Family.

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Introduction

´╗┐Aneesa Hanif The functionalist theory views society as being a system which looks at society rather than the individuals themselves. In functionalism, society is considered more significant because an individual is made by the society and because, people are the creation of the social influences upon them, for example, their family, friends, how well they have been educated and how the media influences them. Parsons are functionalist sociologists who see the society as a body and the body parts as the institutions. ...read more.

Middle

Parsons believe that there are expected roles for men and women. They claim that the male role is instrumental as they are better at providing for the family, and the women role is expressive, as they are better at emotional support. The criticisms for the Parsons theory are that Marxist feminists would argue that the women end up staying at home, being a housewife and not getting paid for it. Also, in the modern day, many women go out to work and earn and the men stay at home and look after the children. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also feminists may argue that when women go out and get a job, it could mean they have to accept the other ?shifts? that come with employment which are the housework when coming home from their job, looking after their children and handling the emotions from their family. Murdock is also a functionalist sociologist. Murdock carried out a study of 250 societies of different cultures and came to the conclusion that families provide four functions: 1. Sexual- stable sexual relationships for adults 2. Reproductive-continuing to create society members 3. Economic-pools resources to provide for each other 4. Educational-teaches norms and values of society. Murdock came to the conclusion that families are universal and inevitable and that families exist in every society. ...read more.

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