The Nature and Role of Family in Society Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in The Nature and Role of Family in Society Deck (8)
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1

What do sociologists define as a household?

A household is a group of people who live together who may or may not have family or kinship ties.

2

What are the key functions of the family, according to Parsons?

Argued that the family always has two basic and irreducible (vital) functions. These are primary socialisation of children and the stabilisation of adult personalities.
1) Primary socialisation is the process by which children learn and accept the values and norms of society.
2) For adults, the family stabilizes personalities through the emotional relationships between parents.

3

Explain the ways in which functionalist and marxist perspectives on the role of the family are similar.

Like functionalists, marxists view the family as performing essential functions for modern industrial society.

4

Explain the ways in which functionalist and marxist perspectives on the role of family are different.

Marxists argue that the family benefits the minority in power (the bourgeoisie) and the economy, but disadvantages the working class majority (the proletariat).

5

Identify three different strands of feminist thought about the family.

- Marxist feminism- sees the exploitation of women as essential to the success of capitalism.
- Radical feminism- highlights housework as an area of exploitation of women.
- Liberal feminism- emphasises the cultural norms and values which are reinforced by the family and by other institutions in society.

6

Explain patriarchy.

Patriarchy is the combination of systems, ideologies and cultural practices which ensure that men have power.

7

Name two things that the New Right theorists blame for family breakdown.

- Welfare benefits are too high and create a ‘culture of dependency’ where an individual finds it easy and acceptable to take benefits rather than work.
- Also the increase in lone-parents and reconstituted (step) families and easier access to divorce have led to a breakdown in traditional values.

8

Why do postmodernists think there will never be one dominant type of family in Western culture again?

Judith Stacey reckons there’s such a diversity of family types, relationships and lifestyles that there will never be one dominant type of family in Western culture again.