Assess the contribution of Marxist theories to an understanding of the family
Assess the contribution of Marxist theories to an understanding of the family. (24) Marxists believe that the family does not function for its members and all society, but really helps capitalism. The things that the family does benefit the ruling class, not the ordinary people. This is because it gives workers lots of family responsibilities, so that they are less likely to strike. The warm bath at home helps them to cope with long hours of boring hard work outside. Also the family trains up for free the new generation of the workforce for capitalism and teaches them to work hard and be obedient. Finally, the members of the family buy lots of consumer goods from shops and this helps to keep the capitalist system going. The Marxist sociologist Engels believes that society was originally communal so it did not need 'family' or marriage but as private property was introduced an organised system of inheritance was necessary, because fathers needed to be sure of two things: one, that their property passed down to their children and two, that their wives were monogamous. Marriage controlled women's sexuality and ensured men's dominance by bringing them into the private sphere of the home and keeping them submissive by ensuring men controlled wealth and power. However, other sociologists have criticised this view because they believe that Marxists are too focused on conflict and
Assess the view that the nuclear family functions benefit all its members and society as a whole.
Assess the view that the nuclear family functions benefit all its members and society as a whole. The family was once described as a social group that shared common residence, consisted of at least two adults of each sex that maintained a socially approved sexual relationship and had one or more children, their own or adopted. This is a nuclear family, described by George Murdoch to be a universal family type. Although it is correct to say that nuclear families are located universally, family types now vary from single-parents families to gay headed families. Despite the variety, they contribute to society, in ways that can be positive and negative too. Many sociologists diff in their views as to whether the family is positive to the society or not- functionalists believe that the family has positive functions that contribute positively to the society but functionalists tend to ignore negative aspects of the family such as the 'dark side', which consists of all that makes the family a negative experience for its members. Nevertheless there are sociologists that focus on only the negative aspects, such as, Marxists, Feminists and Radial psychiatrists. The new right theory has faith that the family is a positive function of the society, however new rights only refer to nuclear families, as they believe that any other family type in inferior. Functionalism is a consensus theory
Assess the view that Industrialisation led to the decline of the extended family and the rise of the nuclear family.
Assess the view that Industrialisation led to the decline of the extended family and the rise of the nuclear family. Industrialisation is where the country begins to expand in producing secondary goods and services using factories and transport. This allowed extended families to become wage earner that meant they were able to work for someone else other than their selves and their families. This was important as extended families consisted of the children and their parents but also grandparents or aunts and uncles. So having a large family meant everyone had to contribute financially, also with educating the younger generation and be able to look after each other and be seen as doctors for one another. Extended families were very common in Pre- Industrial England because all family members were able to support each other through difficult time and their work would be more physically demanding than Industrial England, but this work would be to support the family as it would be farming on their own land. When Industrialisation took over England the extended family were no longer needed as all the functions that they would perform for the family were lost as they were now the States responsibility so this no longer gave a purpose for extended families to stick together. Also as family had to work for others this meant that the economy demanded a more geographically mobile
Outline and Evaluate two theories on the formation of relationships.
Outline and Evaluate two theories on the formation of relationships. The stages of relationships goes from Attraction then leading to formation then leading to maintenance and breakdown/dissolution. One theory being the Reinforcement affect theory states it is a behavioural method of learning. It states operant conditioning where people weigh up rewards directly like psychological needs and hence explained BY operating conditioning. People who are rewarding are liked usually more than the ones who do not reward regularly and normally chosen as potential partners for relationships because they are associated with feeling good rather than the not so rewarding person who could be associated with an unhappy event, they would not be very desirable at all. If the person in question was met 'in a good mood' at the time then this is highly more appealing then when met in a bad mood and then is associated with our own good mood and hence more likely to be willing for a formation of a relationship, this is known as 'the affect'. An indirect reward associated with pleasant circumstances could be explained by classical conditioning as well. Finally reinforcement such as a person could be associated with reinforcement for example providing it; these particular people are liked more and again more likely to enter into a relationship. There are certain human needs which affect social
How functionalism contributes towards our understanding of families and society.
Functionalism works to support society as a whole, It has been said that society is like a human body. Each organ is linked up with a part of society the idea explains about how independent each part is, it shows that if one part of the human body fails then it effects the rest of the body. This then links to society as if one part fails then it effects the rest of society as it has a knock on effect. All parts of society are inter related which explains why they all have to be maintained in order to have a successful society. A biological function is seen as the role that a part of the body has to play in order to keep the body alive, however a function in society is fairly similar but it is the part it plays in the social life as a whole and that contribution maintaines the structure. George Murdock defines the family as “A social group characterised by common residence, economic co-operation and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more childeren, own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults”. Murdock has quite a traditional view of the family, the family type he is explaining here is the nuclear family. Murdock analysed 250 societies and came to the conclusion that the family has four basic functions, these are sexual, reproductive, socialising and economic. He explained
Families and Households. Notes on Diversity Childhood and Industrialisation.
Families and Households – Family Diversity Functionalists – argue that if any member of the nuclear family is either taken away or changed, there is no means through which socialisation cannot be enforced and established New rights – argue that family diversity breaks down the traditional norms and values of society Post modernists – argue that individuals can choose from several options depending on what suits their personal needs and lifestyles. Marxists – Argue that family diversity is good for society as the nuclear family are the only family that helps maintain the position of the ruling class, therefore other family types ensure this does not happen. Stacey – argues that there is such diversity of family types, there will never be one dominant type O’Brien and Jones – Criticised Stacey as they found there to be less variety of family types in society and most people have only ever experienced one or two types. Giddens – Argues that society is so diverse and unstable that we can no longer predict the future. Beck – ‘risk society’ & ‘negotiated family’ Chester – Changes in diversity are minor and family are less conventional. Driver & Ballard – showed the culture Asian families and their traditional values. Eversley & Bonnerjea – Looked at regional family diversity they found that different family types lived in different areas
Assess the sociological views of the relationship between the family and industrialisation
Assess the sociological views of the relationship between the family and industrialisation Most sociological debates of family diversity have centred around three questions. Firstly, is the nuclear family universal, Secondly, is the nuclear group the only one that can carry out the vital functions of the family, and thirdly what is the link between the nuclear family structure and industrial society, did the nuclear family break away from this extended family system as a result of industrialization? The relationship between family structure and industrialisation remains a popular question, as it is linking the family with social change. ‘Pre Industrialisation’ refers back to the society before industrialisation, it was largely agricultural and work was centred at the home, people were given ascribed occupational roles this was known as the domestic industry. Family during the time was extended commonly and played a major role in looking after dependent children and had main responsibility for health and welfare of the young, and those of old age who couldn’t work. Before the compulsory education act in 1880, the family performed the acts of primary and secondary socialisation. Working class families had high illiteracy rates. However, during the Industrial revolution the nuclear family became more dominant in society. ‘Industrialism’ refers to the mass production
Outline and evaluate the functionalist view of the role of the family in society [33 marks]
Outline and evaluate the Functionalist view of the role of the family in society [33 marks] Murdock, a functionalist, describes the family as a universal institution based on the nuclear family model. The functionalist view of the role of the family in society is that it maintains social order. The family is a tool for socialisation and a key social institution in sustaining the value consensus. Murdock identified four main functions of the family: the sexual, reproductive, economic and educational. These four functions cover the role of the family in society. The sexual and reproductive functions are what keep society populated—if they became dysfunctional then society would not have the people inhabiting it. The economic function is the parent’s responsibility to take care of their family financially, usually through the division of labour where the man will take on the instrumental role and provide for the family while the woman will adopt the expressive role and take care of the home and family members. Marxists would contest this viewpoint—arguing that the division of labour is capitalist dogma used to control the labour force and stop them from developing consciousness. The final function identified by Murdock was the educational functional—this is the socialisation function of the family. It is this function that maintains the value consensus which allows
Assess the extent to which roles within the family are becoming more equal or shared
‘Assess the extent to which roles within the family are becoming more equal or shared’ There are many different opinions regarding the hierarchy of a family. As society has developed through the ages, numerous additions to the standard nuclear family have arisen. Because of this, sociologists are often coming up with new theories, including how power is shared within those families. In this essay I will be evaluating various judgements belonging to sociologists, regarding gender roles and whether influence is evenly distributed throughout families. Barrett and McIntosh state that men gain much more from women doing domesticated jobs than they give back in financial support from being the main breadwinner. This suggests that they believe women are the ones that really do the important things such as maintaining the home and looking after children. Following on from this, they also think that the financial support provided by the men often comes with ‘strings attached’, so the women have to find a way to repay their husbands and show their gratitude. Also, they believe that men are the ones that usually take charge when making important decisions. This collaboration seems to have a feminist perspective because their beliefs suggest that men hold women back and do not allow them to become their own person in the way they should. A criticism is that this feminist view
Examine the ways in which laws and social policies affect family life.
Examine the ways in which laws and social policies affect family life. (24 marks, 14 AO1, 10 AO2) A social policy is a law implemented by the government to benefit society. These social policies have attempted to promote the nuclear family, such as those introduced by New Labour (although they are more accepting of family diversity than conservatives) and the Conservative government. The Child Support Act supports the conventional family by making the father provide for his children, even when he is absent - thus reinforcing the natural role of the breadwinner. Changes to taxes in 1988 also tried to reinforce the conventional families by not allowing cohabiting couples to claim more tax than married couples, and prevented them from claiming mortgage relief as two people, meaning married people are better off with their taxes. Maternity and paternity leave also reinforce the conventional nuclear family type, as maternity leave is far longer than paternity leave; this assumes that the mother is the primary caretaker of the child (this is not the case in Sweden, where both parents are treated as equal caretakers and income earners). Both New Right and New Labour are in favour of the nuclear family because they view it as the best way for a child to be adequately socialised. The New Right view the division of labour as natural and based on biology; when these roles are