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Outline and evaluate the view that the nuclear family is the ideal family form. [33 marks]

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´╗┐Ayan.H Outline and evaluate the view that the nuclear family is the ideal family form. [33 marks] Murdock, a functionalist, undoubtedly argues that the nuclear family is universal and that it is the ideal family form; due to it being able to meet the four essential needs of society: Reproduction, sexual, education and economic, and the fact that the nuclear family is adapted to modern society. Murdock defines the nuclear family as a family that consists of two heterosexual married couples, with their dependent children. Murdock argues that without these essential functions (or consensuses), society cannot operate. He specifically believes that the nuclear family can indisputably assist with these essentials, and that no other family type can do so. Nevertheless, Murdock has been heavily criticised for ignoring family diversity, as it common approach in our contemporary society. Other sociologists would conclude that other family types (other than the nuclear family); can perform the consensuses required for society. ...read more.


In his theory, he argues that the females are seen as the best figure for performing the domestic emotional role. In other words, caring for their husbands (or ?alienated? workers as Zaretsky, a Marxist, would say), by cooking and cleaning for them at no expense, and to help relieve their husband?s stress, of which he may experience from work. Parsons is criticised for ignoring the possibility of socialisation being a ?two-way? process, and that the attempts of socialisation can be resisted by children. Moreover, radical feminists such as Millet criticised the warm bath theory as ?sexist?. This mainly being because they believe the theory oppresses women, by males in which they call patriarchy (or male dominance), thus conclude the nuclear family encouraging the oppression of women. Notwithstanding, feminists argue that the nuclear family oppresses women; they fail to explain how women are exploited. ...read more.


On the other hand, Murray has been criticised for looking down on single mothers. He is victim blaming, meaning he is blaming the victims for problems that are not of their own making. Similarly, he stereotypes boys who are raised by single mothers, by saying they are more likely to be involved with crime than boys raised in a nuclear family. Because of this, he argues that this leads to an ?underclass? in our society: ?In communities without fathers, the kids tend to run wild. The fewer the fathers, the greater the tendencies.? And so, the new right theory has been criticised by other sociologists who argue, that the theory is an idealised view of the past (for example, in the Victorian era), and that it does not completely fit in with today?s society. Sociologists of different theories all have different perspectives of the nuclear family, and so cannot agree with the same concepts. Nonetheless, they all believe that the family is what shapes society in one way or another. ...read more.

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