Functionalist Theory on the family Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Functionalist Theory on the family Deck (10):

How do functionalists regard society?

They regard the family as the basic building block of society as it has the crucial function of socialising the young & meeting the emotional needs of its members


What are George Murdocks 4 essential functions of the family?

1) Stable Satisfaction of the sex drive
2)Biological reproduction of the next generation
3)Socialisation of the young ( basic norms and values)
4)Meeting economic needs


What are some criticisms of Murdock?

1)Other institutions may be able to perform these functions
2)Feminists argue that saying the family is essential is ideological as traditional families oppress women


What is Parsons theory on the family?

Parsons believes that as society changes, as does the type of family that 'fits' it and the functions it performs change


Example of parsons theory?

Shown as over the past 200 years we have gone from pre-industrial to industrial along with this the family type has gone from extended to nuclear


Criticisms of the functional fit theory?

- 'too neat' social change doesn't occur in such a social way

- Young and willmott found the extended kind families were still strong in areas of London as late as 1970s


What are parsons two essential functions of the family?

Primary Socialisation & stabilisation of adult personalities


What is primary socialisation?

This is when the family teaches children the norms and values of society
- Boys learn to adopt instrumental role
- Girls to adopt expressive role


What is the stabilisation of adult personalities?

Refers to the emotional security thats achieved within a relationship. Parsons believes that the family is a place where the working man can return from work and be 'distressed' - reducing conflict in society ( Also known as warm bath theory)


What are the general criticisms of the Functionalist Perspective?

1) Down plays conflict - Don't discuss the dark side of the family
2) Too deterministic - Ignored the fact children actively create their own personalties and assumes an almost robotic adoption of the norms and values
3)Out of date - women now go to work and play both roles etc