• 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)

    super structure of our country, the subject class are apart of the superstructure. Workers do not own things in the superstructure and are paid to work from the ruling class, they start to feel resentment for the monotony of their work and become alienated.

  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. Evaluate the Contribution that Subculturalist theory has made to our Understanding of Deviant Behaviour.

    that laws are made by the ruling classes for the working classes to follow. Also, Merton appears to exaggerate working class crime and omitted 'White Collar Crime' from his thesis. Taylor, Walton and Young (1973) argue that the theory cannot accept for politically motivated crime where people break the law because of commitment to a cause.

  2. Organizational Perspectives on Stratification.

    Basically - in a context with heterogeneous skills (jobs) and wage dispersion, wage and job discrimination can be made equivalent by defining each wage-skill level as an ''occupation'' (or ''job''). There are a few kinds of neoclassical approaches to the topic of discrimination: deterministic competitive theories: reflect ''tastes'' against a

  1. Marxism, Functionalism and how the family has developed to its position in today's society.

    As Engel's said as the mode of production changed so did the family. (Friedrich Engels-p327-HARALAMBOS and HOLBORN) The family has developed greatly over the years of time for example; you wouldn't find children working with their family.

  2. Main features of Functionalism.

    The introduction of concepts such as dysfunctions and the positive functions of social conflict in its role in systematic change have tended to weaken the general criticism of functionalism as a theory promoting the status quo. MAIN FEATURES OF FUNCTIONALISM.

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