The family has been assumed by many sociologists as a basic unit of socialisation, which takes on key function, such as socialising children. The functionalist view the family as an optimistic institution that has positive function, while feminists sees the family as negative and reproduces patriarchy. Marxism feels the family reproduce labour pressure while interactionists view young families as different and unique.
Functionalists focus on nuclear family and start to see the latter as the essential foundation of family socialisation. They believe that the family is a confident and beneficial establishment in which members of the family receive nurturing and health care. They go through the family over a macro scale. Functionalist assume that society is dependant on consensus, this means we are all socialised to recognize how to behave known as norms, and what's right and wrong known as principles. For example when there is absolutely no crime, contemporary society benefits by maintaining social order. They believe that each part of population has a function to make sure that society operates easily and everything keeps in harmony, for example, the family's function is to socialise children and, education has a function to be sure that people are educated to be good at the job they'll get after university. (Taylor and Richardson et al, 2002)
Murdock (1949) studied 250 different societies and concluded that the family is so useful to society, that it is unavoidable and universal that neither the individual nor modern culture could make it through without it. He argued that each nuclear family has these four essential functions without which culture could not continue: intimate, reproductive, monetary and education. Without erotic and reproductive, no person in population would be there. Life would stop if there is no financial function that is family providing for its associates, and without education, socialisation would not be there hence absence of culture. Murdock has been criticised for not considering whether the functions of the family could be performed by other interpersonal corporations and he will not look at alternatives to the family. (Taylor and Richardson et al, 2002)
Parsons (1955) studied the modern American family in the 50s. He argued that we now have two basic and irreducible functions of the family. The first is the principal socialisation of children, which Parsons considers as a responsibility of the family to form the child's personality to suite to the needs of contemporary society. The next function is the stabilisation of adult personalities. The individuals gets psychological support from family essential to handle the strains of day-to-day life. Parsons, much like Murdock, has been criticised for showing the picture of the family as attuned children and compassionate spouses nurturing for every other's needs. (Taylor and Richardson et al, 2002).
There is a natural department of labour within the nuclear family, assignments are segregated favorably and everyone perform different roles, including the instrumental male, whose role is to provide for the family and thus the bread champion, and expressive feminine whose role is to provide friendliness, love and look after children at home. Based on Biology the girl is the child bearer therefore must look after the kid. This role preserves social balance. Family patterns have changed with time such as cohabitation, rise of reconstituted people and increase in solitary or lone parent or guardian in american family life. Which includes even made divorce better to obtain.
Functionalist theory has been criticised to obtain focused on the family being positive and provides little attention to its weaknesses, while in feminism the nuclear family is oppressive to women scheduled to gender distinctions in domestic duties. Functionalists dispute that the family is of equal revenue to everyone, however marxists claim that society originated by the necessity of the capitalist current economic climate. It is the bourgeoisie who benefits not the complete society. Functionalists concentrate too much on the importance that the family has in population and overlook the sense family life has for specific. (Haralambos and Holborn, 2008)
Radical psychiatric argue against functionalism for overlooking the negative facet of the family like home violence. Functionalists also dismiss different types of households by focussing mainly on nuclear family. Interactionist David Clark (1991) determined four types of relationship arguing against functionalist, expressing not all individuals are the same. Functionalists depict everything as positive in the family while radical psychiatric looks at the negative side of the family.
Feminism is a issue theory that sees the family as patriarchal. They believe men gain more in a family than women. They view the family on a macro size. Feminists shows how men dominate communal connections, thus symmetrical conjugal jobs is seen as an allegory. Feminists claim that men oppress women through local violence, the financial involvement to culture made by women's home labour within the family.
Liberal feminist Wollstonecraft (1792) wished equality for women in terms of protection under the law, liberties and vote by the change of rules and plan. A radical feminist like Millett (1970) argues that the company of society allows men to dominate women. They presumed that gender distinctions are politically and socially designed therefore desired radical reforms and cultural change. Kate Millet created the term "The personal is political" indicating everything in world is political. Radical feminists think not simply patriarchal men that reap the benefits of family but all men. (Haralambos and Holborn, 2008)
Marxists feminist believe the damage of the capitalist culture brings equality to everything. Lesbian feminists imagine society causes women into heterosexuality so that men can oppress them. They issue heterosexuality as a way of male supremacy. Humanist feminists dispute that world only allows men to self-develop not women, which contemporary society distorts women's human being potential.
Marxist feminist Bentson (1972) argues that family duties make male workers less likely to withdraw from labour, with partner and children to aid. Ansley (1972) views the psychological support in family, stabilises male personnel thus making them less likely to take their frustration out on the machine. Feeley (1972) sees the family as a dictatorial device dominated by the hubby. The family values teach conformity, children figure out how to agree to hierarchy and their position in it. Greer (2000) is a radical feminist who thinks that family life continues to disadvantage and oppress women. She points out Britain has very high divorce rate thus less balance in families. (Haralambos and Holborn, 2008)
Marxist feminist, like functionalist tend to ignore the diversity of modern family life, assuming everyone lives in heterosexual nuclear family. They coloring a very negative picture of family life possibly exaggerated. Functionalists see male and feminine roles being different but similar, Marxist feminists believe that men dominate family associations. Feminist theory discards functionalist view, that population all together is benefited by socialisation in the family but instead men benefits more. Women are portrayed as unaggressive victims of exploitation. It does not consider women who misuse men by fighting back. Functionalists assume that norms and prices benefits society while for feminist they gain men more. Feminists give attention to nuclear family only and the negative facet of it.
Marxism view family on a macro size. The Marxist point of view is a discord theory, which considers socialisation process of the family, ends up with the spread of your ruling class school of thought. Whereby individuals are deceived into agreeing to the capitalist system and the supremacy of the capitalist class thus hegemony. Bourgoisie benefits by creating a labour power and proletariat continue being exploited. Engel (1972) argued that bourgeois nuclear family can be an establishment which oppresses women. These were seen mainly as children bearers, financially dependent with their husbands and continue to be faithful to them. Corresponding to Engels the family was created to control women and protect property, thus men needed to know their children to be able to pass on their property. (Taylor and Richardson et al, 2002)
Marxists say the family assists capitalism in four ways. The family works as a protection valve for the stress and annoyance of working class men, the family plays as a product of consumption, buys the goods and services provided by capitalism. Women domestic work is unpaid which benefits capitalism and lastly the family socialises children thereby reproducing both labour ability and acceptance of capitalism incorrect consciousness. Zaretsky (1976) analysed that the family is one place where male personnel can feel they have got vitality and control. This helps them accept their oppression in wider population. Furthermore Zaretsky considers the family as a main prop to the capitalist current economic climate. Marxists view of divorce in individuals sometimes appears by increased economical pressure from unemployment, this may place added stress. Family living longer could increase pressure on associations. (Taylor and Richardson et al, 2002)
Marxists decline the functionalist view that world is dependant on value consensus, and therefore benefits all. Instead they see the welfare of powerful groupings influencing the way society is controlled. Marxists view ignores family variety. It sees the nuclear family as being simply dependant on the current economic climate. This theory reproduces conflict between classes, bourgeoisie and proletariat, while a functionalist family runs as united, everything benefits world. Capitalist system is dominated both economically by abundant at the expense of the indegent, but regarded as a good system by functionalists that works alongside one another in the eye of all members causing limited issue in modern culture. Anthropologists have suggested that the emergence of the nuclear family did not actually coincide with emergence of capitalism. Somerville (2000) argues that Zaretsky exaggerates the value of the family as a security from life in capitalist society. Unlike functionalist marxists focus on the negative aspect of the family and ignores the positive function. (Taylor and Richardson et al, 2002)
Interactionism also known as interpretive humans have emerged as symbolic animals, meaning we determine what is around us through signs and words. They study young families on a micro scale instead of generalising the whole population. They also look at what family life is actually like, rather than how it ought to be or how it is assumed to be. Interactionists view young families as different and unique thus there is no person way of family life, like other perspectives would suggest. The way a family behaves and interacts is based on interpretation of meanings and jobs. We have been products of our own culture everything we take as common sense or actuality varies in line with the culture we live in. (Taylor and Richardson et al, 2002)
Goffman (1969) compares life to drama, we are actors who undertake roles and react them out as general public performances. Each role has its script which tells us how to act and what cues to anticipate from other people involved in our discussion. Bauman (1990) argues that roles and relationships learned in the family are crucial to shaping our future. Not all young families are close and warm family metaphors are often used to signify closeness, for example using the word brother and sister amongst members of political organisations. (Haralambos and Holborn, 2008)
Berger and Kellner (1964) looked at socially constructed tasks in a married relationship, argues that the truth of marriage can be an ongoing structure which needs to be reaffirmed, negotiated and renegotiated. Clark (1991) conducted a study of how lovers constructed a meaningful marriage. He identified four types of marriage. Drifting relationships, where meanings and ideas into the future are unclear, surfacing relationships often comprised of people who have been married before, establishing marriages which newly wed couple plan for long term future, and finally struggling relationships, with financial problems often from unemployment, which causes tension and stress and anxiety. The conjugal jobs in interactionism show that the functions of couple are constantly innovating. For example both husband and wife working and posting domestic responsibilities. (Haralambos and Holborn, 2008)
Interactionist view young families on a micro scale, discovering how individuals make family life predicated on interactions with one another. They are not interested in generalisations about family life but seek to understand how people are unique. They go further than the common sense view of people that functionalism is convinced in and look at the meanings of what family life is in fact like. Unlike functionalism, Marxism and feminism, where there is a place function of the family, interactionism is different for there is no one arranged function of the family. People can differ based on their interactions, meanings, functions and culture. The finding of four different kinds of marriage provides an opposing debate to functionalism, not an excellent nuclear family. (Haralambos and Holborn, 2008)
It has been criticised while focusing on meanings, motives and action it ignores the wider buildings in which young families operate and are shaped. Sometimes generalisations of individuals are useful as they permit the development of politics social policy. Interpretive approaches make an effort to understand the family from the perspective of its customers.
This research has shown from different sociologist and approaches that the family life has progressed as modernity is progressing. The changes involved have made the family better suited to meeting the needs of modern culture, and of members of the family. Theoretical approaches to the family, such as difference feminism and postmodernism, have emphasized all of the family types and living preparations which exist in contemporary society.
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