Marxist views on the family.
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'Marxist views on the family' Marxists view the family in a very disparaging light and views the family as a tool of Capitalism and the Bourgeoisie. Marxists believe that the family has many roles, which are beneficial to Capitalist society. Marxists believe that the family aids Capitalism by being a big consumer of goods, which they have to pay for. As long as the family are around, people will keep buying the product and the bourgeoisie will continue to make money. Marxists also believe that housewives are producing the next generation of the proletariat. This means that more people will be created to fill the jobs of the retiring proletariat. Marxists believe that the family cushions the main provider. This is similar to the functionalist "warm bath theory". After a hard day of being exploited by the bourgeoisie, the main provider, usually the male, will be comforted by his family the family are there to relieve the pressures so that he can go into work the next day feeling less stressed than when he left the evening before.
This would lead to the proletariat eventually challenging for wealth and power over the capitalist ruling classes. This downfall would have been brought about by the extended family and unity, and therefore the bourgeoisie teach the extended family to be wrong. This is where the nuclear family differs from the extended family. It is much more friendly towards Capitalism because it can be used as an ideological apparatus to promote Capitalist values. For example, we often here the phrase "Keeping up with the Jones's". This slogan not only promotes the family purchasing items, but it backs up the Capitalist view that material wealth is good. The first modern Marxist perspective on the family was from a man called Engles who wrote a book called: "The origin of family, private property and the state". He wrote this in the year, 1884. Engles traced back humanity, thinking that perhaps the family and its structure were evolutionary.
The first is that the family serves the requirements of the catholic society, and the second is that the family will always prevent women from achieving full equality. This links in well with feminism, particularly the views of Marxist feminists. Engels and Zaretsky both acknowledged that women are exploited in the family, but stressed the relationship between Capitalism and the family more than the exploitation of women. Margaret Benston is a Marxist Feminist and states that if women were paid for the duties they perform as a housewife, even at minimum wage, would cause a huge redistribution of wealth. Benston also states that the Bourgeoisie are effectively paying the male and also acquiring the services of the female. The female labours for the male to produce a good worker for the capitalist society. Although Marxist feminists recognise the exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie, they tend to favour their arguments towards the oppression that the women face from men as commanding heads of the household, and the fact that women run the household yet get no form of pay from the Male head of the house or the Capitalist society.
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