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“The nuclear family is the cornerstone of society”.Discuss with reference to three sociological perspectives.

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Introduction

"The nuclear family is the cornerstone of society".Discuss with reference to three sociological perspectives. Robertson (1989:247) defines the family as "a relatively permanent group of people related by ancestry, marriage, or adoption, who live together, form an economic unit, and take care of their young". It's a basic social group united through bonds of kinship or marriage, present in all societies. Ideally, the family provides its members with protection, companionship, security, and socialization. The structure of the family and the needs that the family fulfils vary from society to society. The nuclear family two adults and their children is the main unit in some societies. In other swards, it is a subordinate part of an extended family, which also consists of grandparents and other relatives. A third family unit is the single-parent family, in which children live with an unmarried, divorced, or widowed mother or father. The word cornerstone implies fundamental basis. The nuclear family has been up held as a cornerstone of the society. Three sociological perspectives (generally held views) have advanced different conceptions about the relationships of the family to the social structure. ...read more.

Middle

The functionalist perspective has been criticised on various fronts; It has been deemed to overlook social patterns that vary from place to place, and they change over time; thus the notion that any particular arrangements are natural seems hazardous at best saw the social world as orderly and relatively fixed. It emphasized social integration ignored divisions based on power conflict, social, race ethnicity and gender. Does not account for how diversity can generate conflict. Functionalist fails to ask for whom these problems are functional. They appear to overlook the fact that typically, only some groups benefit, while many suffer from particular problematic conditions. These overlooked problems in the family can on the other hand create a greater danger to the existence of the society. Robert Merton criticises the views of the functionalist in his book (manifest and latent functions; 1968) he argues that not all behaviour patterns or elements of the family will be functional, that will contribute to the maintenance of society. Some patterns will lessen the adaptability of the system (society) and may thus be considered dsyfunctional, for example the bad behaviour learnt from the family socialisation process might act to destabilise the society. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion there's no one general sociological perspective that can fully certify or explain the working of the society.the functionalist have viewed the family as possessing basic functions requirements which must be met if the society is to survivehoewever they fail to indicate what's functional and what's not.It only looks at whats functional to the society.For Marxists, the root cause of all forms of oppression in the soceity consists in the division of society into classes,they are against the mistreatment of women within the family as the major cause of classconflict in society,hence the family is not a not foundation of social order to them . as for the feminists, on the other hand, the oppression of women is rooted in the nature of men. It is not a social but a biological phenomenon. This is an entirely static, unscientific and undialectical conception of the human race. It is an unhistorical vision of the human condition, from which profoundly pessimistic conclusions must flow. For if we accept that there is something inherent in men which causes them to oppress women, it is difficult to see how the present situation will ever be remedied. The conclusion must be that the oppression of women by men has always existed and therefore, presumably, will always exist. By Alan Woods. (July 19, 2001). ...read more.

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