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Hnc Sociology Essay

1729 words - 7 pages

Tracey Siebenaler.
HNC Social Care.
Group B.
11th October 2009.

“The Family is The Cornerstone Of Society.”

James Watt College.
Kilwinning Campus.

Tracey Siebenaler. HNC Social Care.

“The Family is The Cornerstone Of Society.”

To consider the above statement one would have to firstly decide on a definition for modern day family. The most common form of family set up in modern day Britain would be the nuclear family comprising of parents and children together. Extended families, another type of family unit, consist most often of three generations living together or in close proximity. A third type would be the reconstituted family. This could be defined as step ...view middle of the document...

Functionalists look at society from a structural theory viewpoint. They view society as a collective system of groups and structures operating to maintain society. These views and structures work downwards to influence the family and the individual. Thus they see society as an entity working its way down to each individual (Saunders 1996). The family are very important as they have been taught societies needs and rules and in turn can relay these to their young. Teaching their young societies norms and values allows them to be fully functioning members of their society in the future. Not only does family teach the young these norms, they also ensure survival and education to their members allowing society to progress and be productive with the young teaching their young in the future.

Feminist theorists might strongly disagree with this viewpoint as they believe that certain family set ups, such as those listed above, hold back female members of our society. Feminists theories were initially based on the Marxist theories of Karl Marx (1867). As such believed that capitalism dictated the set up of a family in order to allow males to be more productive outside the home. Ensuring this aim by domination of and free labour by females within the home. These theories were expanded on by Radical Feminists such as Millet and Fueston and the Dual Systems Approach put forward by amongst others Delphy and Walby. The radicals agreed exploitation and domination of women was taking place. However they believed that it was men who exploited women not the capitalist society. The Dual Systems Approach again agrees that women are exploited but bring together both of the above feminist views stating that both men and capitalist society are exploiting women and stopping them achieving their full potential.

As indicated Marxist Theories developed by Karl Marx (1867) also disagree with the Functionalists view of family structure. They did not see Family as a positive but believed that the family was a tool to allow the capitalist ruling class to serve its own interests. They believe that the family encourages capitalist exploitation of the working classes. Family causes individuals to provide various necessary and consumer goods needs for their family. This distracts the individuals from the need to seek justice and equality of all workers due to stresses put on them by the family. They believe that the exception to this is the extended family as collective shared action encourages an awareness of social class.

In conclusion there are many views as to whether the initial assumption that family is good for society is correct. From those listed above the Functionalists and Symbollic Interactionists would argue that the family is indeed the cornerstone of society. They both believe that family produces,teaches or encourages many of the aspects needed by society to survive and evolve. The Marxist and Feminist viewpoints differ in that they both believe...

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