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

Does the nuclear family make an ideal living arrangement?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Does the nuclear family make an ideal living arrangement? The view that the nuclear family makes an ideal living arrangement for individuals and society supports a traditional functionalists view in that the nuclear family is 'ideal'. Functionalists such as Murdock, are supporters of the nuclear family, which he defined as "A social group characterised by common residence, economic co-operation & reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually co-habitating adults". Murdock argued that the family performs 4 basic functions- sexual, reproductive, economic and socialisation, and these functions are necessary for society to exist. ...read more.

Middle

This view of the instrumental and expressive roles for men and women is quite old fashioned. Nowadays both roles are taken up by both sexes. More women are now wage earners and more men take a role in childcare. For functionalists, family life is a happy and harmonious well-integrated institution and is essential in any society. Marxist do not regard the family as a functional necessity, they see the family as performing a vital role for the capitalist economy. Criticisms of Murdock and Parsons come from the fact, that they idealised the nuclear family. Both Murdock and Parsons portrayed the image of the family as having well adjusted children and sympathetic spouses who care for each other's needs. ...read more.

Conclusion

it produces the new generation of workers by rearing children to be workers. Radical feminists say that the family reproduces 'Patriarchy' a system dominated by men and inculcating children with 'patriarchal ideology'. The women in the family are exploited with sexual, reproduction and domestic labour being performed unpaid. So women work for free to reproduce labour power for the capitalists. In conclusion, for functionalists the family is a crucial institution for maintaining the smooth running of society. For Marxists/feminists, the family is seen as vital in the reproduction of capitalism. In general though, the family is regarded as the cornerstone of society forming the basic unit of social organisation, and on balance it has been regarded as a good thing, both for the individual and society as a whole. ...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. Changes in Family Roles

    the extended family have changed as they now live further apart or may not keep in contact anymore for various reasons. "I will investigate how and why women's roles within the family have changed." This aim was answered by the secondary sources collected on the symmetrical family, reason being, the

  2. Assess the Claim that the Nuclear Family is Universal.

    The strengths of the Marxist approach is that it: (a) Explores the role of 'oppressive ideologies'. (b) Offers critical approach (c) Acknowledges the dark-side of the family (d) Offers explanation for the development of the family. (e) Links the family to inequality in capitalist society But on the other hand, it has weaknesses: (a)

  1. Is George Murdock's 'Nuclear Family' still, the norm in British society?

    Family and Kinship in East London (Pelican,) Appendix (1) Pilot Study Pilot Study Is the 'nuclear family' still the norm in British society? Hypothesis When writing about the family George Murdock (1949) wrote, "It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved relationship, and on or more children, own or adopted, of sexually cohabiting adults."

  2. The Nuclear family

    He also believes the family to be an important tool in the capitalist economy, in that women provide a dual function as they reproduce future workforce and provide labour in the current workforce. However Jennifer Somerville (2000) criticises Zaretsky for "exaggerating the importance of the family as a refuge from

  1. Pitted against Patriarchy

    own rather parasitical identity, these men are defined by their relationships with these women and that in "this women's world husbands were cardboard."33 McNeill succeeds in highlighting the unjustness that such "cardboard" characters should enjoy such an elevated status within the community.

  2. Social Security Policy.

    differing approaches to social structure and social policy from a Marxist perspective. In general many agreed that the achievement of the welfare state in Britain was neither as desirable nor as successful as had been assumed. Marxists argued that the welfare state had not been successful in solving the social

  1. Gender Socialisation

    My research shows that women in full time work earned on average 82% of the average hourly pay of males in full time employment and earned on average 60 % of the average hourly rate of pay to males in part time work.

  2. Does The Nuclear Family constitute an ideal living arrangement for individuals and society?

    It is also not taken into consideration by Functionalists the fact that lone-parent families, Gay and Lesbian families and foster care and children's homes are not only present, but on the increase in modern day society. Murdock, a functionalist suggests that the nuclear family is an important social institution, playing vital functions in maintaining society.

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