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critisims of sociological prespectives of the family

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Criticisms of Sociological Perspectives of the Family Functionalist The functionalist's see the family as a unit for providing certain functions to individuals and wider society. They believe that the family provides a warm and stable unit for the family members to use to escape from the pressures of modern life, They also believe that the family is the first unit for the socialisation of children. Over all they think that the family provides emotional, social, personal, financial and educational support for all within the family unit and in the wider scale this will benefit society as a whole. In theory this sounds lovely, the functionalists paint a rosy & idealistic picture of the family but this seems some what dated in the modern world. Functionalists see the husband and wife as a team working together, the man goes out to work and earns money while the woman stays at home to look after the household, in modern times this may not always be the case, some families may need both parents to work in order to survive or there may be sickness and the wife may have to work. ...read more.


Critical A critical view of the family seems to be a complete opposite to the functionalist view. Rather than being a positive influence in those in the family unit they see it as dysfunctional for both the family members and society as a whole. Laing see the family as alone, isolated from society, the family is trying to protect its members from external threats of society which, is damaging to all involved. Too much dependence on one another and family members will argue, fight or rebel eventually, this conflict will spill out into wider society. The problem with Leach and Laings' ideas about the family is that they haven't used a wide enough selection of family types to do their research with, their research is very limited and it is unfair to assume that these views can be applied to wider society. Both Leach and Laing have very negative views of society, they both think that society has 'gone mad' and is loosing control. ...read more.


Both Marxist and Feminist theorists have the view that the family oppresses women, that women produce thousands of hours of unpaid lob our and seem to live in the mans shadows. Feminist theorists first brought the hardship of women into sociological thinking, they have highlighted abuse and violence within families and has shown that the family unit is geared to greater oblige the men over the women. Both Marxist and Feminist theory's are both looking at the nuclear family, there is still no accounting for other variations which can make up a family. They also only see the man as the breadwinner, there may be situations where the woman of the household has to support the family. Overall none of these views are correct for describing the modern day family. With so many differences of family types in Weston society and cultural differences around the world all these views seem dated. Small parts of all the theories are true but no one theory could cover the varied way in which people in the modern world live their life. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jill Hehir Sociology Jan 2007 1 ...read more.

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