Functionalist Views Of The Family Essay

1056 words - 5 pages

Functionalist Views of the Family
Functionalism is a social structure theory of society, where by it is believed that we are passive individuals of society, controlled by social institutions. Functionalism revolves around why the society we live in is functional, and on the positive aspects; consensus, social solidarity and social order.
Functionalists refer to the Family as the Primary agent of socialisation, as they view the family as the most important social institution. This is because we spend the most time with our families, and are therefore heavily influenced by the norms and values they teach. They also believe Family's provide society with pre-requisites, for example, as humans ...view middle of the document...

This therefore creates conflict, resulting in social division, and illness, which in some cases can lead to death; so there are less and less members of society. Murdock says that in order to be classed as a Traditional Nuclear Family, there must be common residence, economic co-operation, reproduction, adults of opposing sexes in a sexual relationship and one or more children, of which can be either biological or adopted by the cohabiting adults. There must also be a clear division of labour from the male breadwinner and maternal mother.
Many sociologists disagree with Murdocks theory, and produce arguments and evidence in order to disprove it. For example, Sheeran believes that it is not the TNF that is universal but the female carer core, where by the mother and child is always present in a family. This goes against Murdocks theory, as the possibility of a lone mother does not fit into 'two adults of the opposing sex'. Although, Sheeran himself contradicts his own theory, as he disregards specifically lone fathers, which suggests female carer core is universal neither. In 1959 Gough studied the Naya tribe, and also argued that TNF is not universal. This was because in such a community, adults were involved in polygamous relationships, and the brother of the mother was expected to act as the father figure to avoid uncertainty. This goes against the functionalist idea of being part of a monogamous relationship, and mudocks fit under 'common residence'. Callahan also disagrees and says that the existence of gay / lesbian families means that the TNF is not universal, as like female carer core, does not fit into 'two adults of the opposing sex'. Postmodernists Rapoports/Cheal believe that Murdock's views and theory is outdated, and as we live in post modernity, should celebrate family diversity as the norm. Gittin concludes that no family can be universal as there are too many societies, and within each of these societies, forms their own on family based on the shared norms and values.
Parsons, another functionalist, studied the movements of society, and how these changes effect the structures of family in order to sustain it's functions. In Pre-Modernity the dominant family...

Other Essays Like Functionalist Views of the Family

Assess the of Functionalist Theories in Understanding Religion Today

1223 words - 5 pages Assess the of Functionalist theories in understanding religion today Functionalists have put forward their perspective on religion and how it benefits both society and the individual starting with how religion brings people together harmoniously, creating social cohesion and a sense of belonging as people believe in the same thing and all abide by the same rules. Religion creates and maintains a value consensus whilst giving society social

Assess the Usefulness of Functionalist Theories in Understanding Religion Today

657 words - 3 pages what functionalists ignores to point out is how in today’s society religion it can also be disruptive and dysfunctional for society. For example there could be a conflict between different religions. In the Indian subcontinent warfare is often seen between Muslims and Hindus, this is shows how religion is creating a great divide between groups of peoples and parts of countries. Theories that may say that functionalist theories are not useful in

Assess the Functionalist View of the Domestic Division of Labour. (21 Marks)

802 words - 4 pages Assess the functionalist view of the domestic division of labour. (21 marks) Domestic division of labour refers to the roles me and women play, in relation to housework, childcare and paid. Functionalist such as Young and Willmott believe and see that the family domestic division of labour has taken a ‘march of progress’. With this march of progress view they believe that the family life improving for all members within in the family and it’s

Asses the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Functionalist Approach to Society

685 words - 3 pages Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the functionalist approach to society (33 marks) Functionalism is seen as a macro-scale approach to society it sees society as a system of interrelated parts or social institutions such as religion, the family and the economy. Therefore functionalism sees society as the human body or organic analogy meaning society is like an organism with basic needs that it must meet in order to survive. This is

Identify and Discuss the Key Features of Both Functionalist and Marxist Theories. [25 Marks]

2777 words - 12 pages especially interested in how social order is possible or how society remains relatively stable. Functionalist theory has got its main features and other theories have different views towards it. Value consensus is one of the key features of functionalist theory. Value consensus forms the fundamental integrating principle in society. The functionalist subscribes that the majority of the people in a community share common goals and only a few

The Symbolic Views of a Glass Menagerie

1644 words - 7 pages magic that occurs in the household with Tom’s departure. Her spunk and passion were shattered. She decides to give the now broken unicorn to Jim as a "souvenir". (1676). He broke the unicorn and ultimately her and she feels it would be more appropriate with him. When Tom leaves so does the dreams and hopes this family has which drained the household of all positive views. Laura's leg braces symbolize "shackles" (if you will) placed on her life

An Analysis of the Open Theist Views

2342 words - 10 pages Running head: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF OPEN THEISM An Analysis of the Open Theist Views Donell Winder Baptist Bible College

Decline of the American Family

1363 words - 6 pages Today, the definition of family is very complex and cannot be explained in just a few words or lines. It can be said that the word ‘family’ has more than one meaning and this makes it more complicated for one to understand the meaning of family. According to most people, a family can be one in the traditional sense with two heterosexual parents with children, one with two parents of the same sex with an adopted child, one with a single parent

The family as the unit of society

1884 words - 8 pages A family is the unit of society Is your life’s mission statement for mortality  “to build an eternal family?” Here on this earth we strive to become part of extended families with the ability to create and form our own part of those families. That is one of the reasons our Heavenly Father sent us here. Not everyone will find a companion and have a family in mortality, but everyone, regardless of individual circumstances, is a precious member

The Effects of Cyberculture on the Family

4565 words - 19 pages common Social Network Sites being used and their effects on the family, in particular on communication. I shall interview five families to get a clearer image of what is happening on our islands, and analyze their response in the context of existing literature. I shall consult studies and articles that are available online, including Church documents to support Christian views, and try to propose an exhaustive guide that will help members of the

Critically discuss the views of Plato and Dawkins

1436 words - 6 pages same. This is a weakness of his theory due to the fact we, arguably have meaningful life, full of emotions, friends and family and if Dawkins was correct, it makes us question our identity and the importance of our own lives. Overall, both Plato and Dawkins have very contrasting views about the existence of the soul and life after death, perhaps the complete opposite to each other. Dawkins rejects all theories of religion, whether it be the existence of a God, life after death or whether we have a soul whereas Plato believes in the World of the Forms, theory of knowledge and also our soul, mind and body.

Related Papers

Assess The Usefulness Of The Functionalist View Of The Family (24 Marks)

670 words - 3 pages ignore the fact that men may also suffer domestic abuse from their wives. They ignore how family has improved, e.g. the new man theory, equal pay rights etc. In conclusion, the functionalist approach does provide a useful theory of the family, as they believe it is the family’s responsibility to socialise children so that they can fit into adult society. However a lot of its views are outdated and don’t consider conflict between genders and social classes.

Assess The Contribution Of Functionalist Sociologist To Our Understanding Of The Family

725 words - 3 pages in extended families due to owning farms and factories. Young and Willmott argue that extended family was not the dominant family type before the industrial revolution, as they argue that the nuclear family was on the rise due to better living standards, housing and the change in the position of women. These functionalist sociologist views are criticised by the Marxist perspective, they believe that the family benefits the ruling class in a

Assess The Marxist Views Of The Roles Of The Family

709 words - 3 pages values through socialisation - these roles all contribute to a functioning society, and not to serve the interests of capitalism. Functionalists such as Parsons have contrasting views to Marxism as he sees the family as having two essential functions within society: the primary socialisation of children to equip them with basic skills and society’s values, to enable them to cooperate with other and begin to integrate them into society; and the

Functionalist And Interactionist Views On The "War On Drugs"

813 words - 4 pages First coined in June of 1971 by President Richard Nixon, the “War on Drugs” has actually been ongoing for over a century. Americans still, however, continue to use illicit/illegal drugs with no end in sight. Why is illegal drug use still such a widespread issue in American society despite government attempts to outlaw and punish drug users? Let us explore what reasons interactionist and functionalist theorists would give for the continued use of