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

Assess the contribution of functionalism to our understanding of family.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the contribution of functionalism to our understanding of family When considering the question, we need to understand that functionalism has contributed towards our understanding of the family. However other perspectives like Marxism and feminism have also played a part in the understanding of the family. Functionalism involves New Rights, and this is seen as political functionalism. New Rights believe that family is the crux of society, and it wanted society to return back to the days when you had the nuclear family. They disliked anything to do with lesbianism, homosexuality, and they were also against abortion and single parenting. New Rights said, because of an increase in single parents the housewife is forced to go to work and provide for the children. New Rights considered any type of family deviant, and argued that our society is becoming immoral. In the 1980s Margaret Thatcher blamed women for the increase in divorce. ...read more.

Middle

Functionalism also ignores diversity and inequalities in families. The Marxist view of the family would be different. The Marxist view of the family is developed from a class analysis of society. Marxists see society as a capitalist society, divided into two antagonistic classes. The Marxist view of the family starts with the idea of Engels as expressed in 'The Origin of the Family, Private and the State, published in 1884. Engels argued that the monogamous nuclear family developed to solve the problem of the inheritance of private property. Engels also said that the property should be passed on to the eldest male who is married. Marxists think the family is part of a superstructure, which passes on ideologies that justify inequality. This passing on of ideology enables the bourgeoisie to maintain control of the economic base. Marxists view of the family is an 'ideological conditioning device'. They also see family as oppressive, and inhibiting creativity. ...read more.

Conclusion

She felt that the only way to get equality would be to stop having children. This was called the 'Babystrike'. I think Laura Purdy's idea of the 'Babystrike' was a good idea for women to get equality, because men would also listen seriously to women and understand them more. The criticisms of feminism are that it ignores the joy and fulfilment found by women in motherhood. The call for lesbianism and separatism has little appeal to the majority of women. Women are also seen as passive victims and not co-makers of history. Feminism shows how housework benefits capitalism but fails to explain why women should be responsible for it. Overall, Functionalism has contributed to our understanding of the family in a major way. Murdock's definition of the nuclear family is accepted in society, because it forms part of the way we lead our lives today. Functionalism, Marxism and Feminism have affected or changed society in some way, and in particular functionalism, because a continuing and growing family contributes to the cycle of life. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology 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 GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Assess the contribution of functionalism to our understanding of the family.

    4 star(s)

    Nevertheless, it can be argued that functionalism is the oldest and most widely accepted view in sociology, therefore, its contribution to our understanding of the family should be taken into account, but with some caution. Functionalists view the family as an institution that is present in society to maintain social order and stability.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Assess the contribution of feminist perspective to an understanding of modern family life ( ...

    4 star(s)

    By working part-time, it suggests that more time should be spent at home doing 'women's work' which limits how much they can achieve in their lifetime. Even in our contemporary society many of the jobs that are to do with waiting, serving, cleaning or caring are predominantly done by women.

  1. Peer reviewed

    Examine the usefulness of functionalism for an understanding society

    4 star(s)

    Following this theory of workers struggling to keep up to long hours of work Karl Marx believed that eventually the subject class will rebel and this would lead into a revolution in society, tension between the subject and ruling class build up until an explosion of revolutionary change.

  2. Marxism and Functionalism and their contribution to sport.

    In contrast, the Proletariat is alienated from and by the Bourgeoisie. The working- class has virtually no power and influence, financially and politically. The original sense of work has transformed from earning money to feed, socialising and pleasing one's own interests into an exploiting tool of the Bourgeoisie to maintain the capitalist's wealth and therefore power too.

  1. "Outline and evaluate the feminist contribution to an understanding of contemporary family life"

    This point is further emphasized by Diane Feeley who says tat children are taught 'passivity not rebellion' thereby abiding to authority and end up preconditioned to accept their place in the hierarchy within capitalism Another view of Feminism adopted by many and a good way of looking at the influence

  2. Main features of Functionalism.

    Societies are wholes, systems of inter-related parts. Each part has meanings only in terms of its relation with the whole, performing a specific function within the system. Society is thus a system of independent elements, all of which contribute to the integration and adaptation of the system as a whole.

  1. Homophobia: a Definition

    Note also that homosexism can be found in homosexuals and others who are not personally afraid of homosexuality. Homophobia is used as a technique of social control by homosexist individuals to enforce the norms of male gender-role behavior. That is why individuals whose lives are generally unaffected by homosexuality are

  2. Evaluate the view that functionalism "ignores the problems that in reality underpin family life"

    Although functionalist views on the family are no longer particularly influential in sociology, similar views are still prominent in society. New Right perspectives on the family have a remarkable similarity to those of functionalists. Both approaches see the nuclear family as the perfect, neither believes that there are possible options

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