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

Using information from the items and elsewhere, assess the view that the nuclear family constitutes an ideal living arrangement for individuals and society?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Using information from the items and elsewhere, assess the view that the nuclear family constitutes an ideal living arrangement for individuals and society ? I will begin my essay by looking at the functionalist perspective and how they see the nuclear family to be a positive institution within society. Then I will be raising some arguments by critics of functionalism i.e. Marxists and feminists. I will then try to sum up the perspectives and I will be adding my response. Functionalists see the nuclear family as the universal social structure. The Nuclear family consists of a Husband, Wife and their immature offspring. A key researcher of families in Functionalism is George Peter Murdock. He studies a wide range of families with a sample size of 250 different societies. From his research he concluded that taking account of the differences between societies the family still performs four basic functions in all the different societies. These are sexual (behavior / activity), reproductive (creating members in society), economical (clothing and food) ...read more.

Middle

He also believes that the family enables adult stabilization. The role of an adult being a parent is the most important and is the final stage in an adult's maturity. The fact that a father/mother can be childish and have a bond with his son/daughter enables him/her to have a retreat from the daily strains of mundane life. The flaws to the work of Parsons are, his views of the family appear to be very idealistic compared to that to the realities of families within society. He conducted his work on white middle class American families and this isn't representative of the other religious, multi - cultural, ethnic and different social class families in America. In modern society the family has built up an image of itself as being a rosy place were love manages to conquer all problems. The media of today is notorious for pumping out ideas that are thought as being the stereotypical family. These images and ideas of the family are universal although many of them are just idealistic. ...read more.

Conclusion

They believe that the family is a valuable economic stabilizing force in capitalist society, which has the function of producing and rearing cheap labour. Finally there is the Radical Feminist perspective that believes that the role of the family is important in maintaining male domination within society. Criticisms of both arguments are that both are theories, by and for women, and therefore see no need to compromise with existing perspectives or agendas. Although each perspective brings valid arguments to the table so to speak, I believe that each is being to specific in the roles of the family and its duty in society. My perspective on the subject is that the family and society are linked very closely and that the two feed of each other to create what is not always idealistic but important institution in which the young are reared into products within society. I also feel that the family is an important sanctuary to its members and agree with the fact that the family stabilises adult personality. The decisions that a parent makes are significant to both the child and the parent and therefore I believe forces out a sense of maturity. Anthony Reid Mr. Phillips ...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. 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)

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

    * Single-parent family, * Bi-nuclear family, * Reconstituted family, * Extended family In order to explain why the nuclear family is residing and the above family models are increasing, I looked to O' Donnell (4) who claimed that an increase in Divorce is one of these reasons.

  1. Changes in Family Roles

    I believe that these changes have been caused due to the changes in roles. For example, women are now more educated and therefore will not hesitate to divorce if they are not treated with respect, this will perhaps cause single parent families.

  2. Since the Industrial revelation the nuclear family has been recognised as the norm of ...

    He suggests that the process of industrialisation may have strengthened the need for reliance of the extended family being as they were the dominant in industrial families. Anderson's main concern was with the working class families for whom kin may have been a mutual support in times of need, due

  1. Shifting Gender Norms: The Ideal Woman in Story of an African Farm.

    I think this small statement reveals a lot about Lyndall's strength, even as a girl. Clearly Sannie considers her something of a challenge, if not beyond control totally. What happens next is remarkable; in a single action Lyndall defies Sannie's sovereignty, while at the same time demonstrating her powerful allegiance

  2. Assess the view that the Nuclear Family can have a negative effect on the ...

    3 Children a day die from abuse-related injuries, of which 82% were under 5 when they died. It's estimated that 10% of children have, will, or are suffering abuse mostly at the hands of their natural parents. Women are also likely to be victims of domestic violence.

  1. 'There's no such thing as society - merely individuals and their families'. (Margaret Thatcher). ...

    Society is defined as 1 : a voluntary association of individuals for common ends; especially : an organized group working together or periodically meeting because of common interests, beliefs, or profession 2 a : an enduring and cooperating social

  2. This essay will explain the functionalist, Marxist and Social action theories of race and ...

    (Haralambos, 2000, page 220) In Britain, immigration or 'racism' has been set apart from the rest of Europe and distinguished by theorists, Phizacklea and Miles as a more substantial issue there. Immigrants entering Britain are typically 'black' which makes their 'race' vulnerable, as they are easy to identify, categorise and discriminate against.

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