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Examine the contribution of Functionalists explanations to an understanding of the role of the family.

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Examine the contribution of Functionalists explanations to an understanding of the role of the family (20 marks) Classical functionalists see traditional family structures as necessary for the survival of society. They also believe that families are there to pursue a group's social culture through to the next generation. Functionalists believe that a family consists of a caring mother and a working father who provides economically for his wife and children. They believe this is the most sensible and stable way for people to live in society. Therefore, Functionalists believe that the family is *Universal (found everywhere) And *Functional (effective). The Universal belief comes from the words of Murdock (1949). He believes that the family structure is the basis for all societies and so the family was universal. ...read more.


Although Murdock outlined what a Universal family was (to serve particular functions for society and for all its members) not all functionalists agree on what functions are essential. Such as Parsons (1959) who only believes there are only two basic functions in modern society: *Stabilization of the adult personality And *Primary socialisation of children. Both Murdock and Parsons agree that for society to continue a family structure is essential and that this is how it always will be. The family is universal because any other institution cannot perform the family's functions. Many people believe that both Murdock's and Parsons view on the family is a very narrow definition for many reasons. The functionalist point of view of a family only describes the family as a harmonious way of living but instead the family role is ...read more.


In most cases in this age women are a lot more successful than men and very few spend their lives at home cleaning up after the males and children. Feminists do not agree with the functionalist point of view at all because they fight for equal rights between males and females and don't believe that females should have to take all the responsibilities within a relationship. Therefore they don't agree with the view that males should go out to work and wives stay at home. Many people also disagree with Murdock's view of the family, as they do not reflect reality, as there are plenty of families who do not have two parents, or a male and female as parents. He gives insufficient attentions to the dysfunctions of the family and doesn't pay much attention to variations in family and has very sexist views. ...read more.

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