Functionalist perspective on the family

Phoebe Fletcher
Mind Map by Phoebe Fletcher, updated more than 1 year ago
Phoebe Fletcher
Created by Phoebe Fletcher over 5 years ago


A Level Sociology (Family) Mind Map on Functionalist perspective on the family, created by Phoebe Fletcher on 02/04/2015.

Resource summary

Functionalist perspective on the family
1 Murdock
1.1 Criticisms
1.1.1 Feminist see the family as serving the needs of men and oppressing women
1.1.2 The functions Murdock listed, can be carried out through other insitions
1.1.3 Ann Oakley re-examined Murdocks data, and found that he ignored society's where gender riles were reversed/shared Because of this she argued that the divison of labour is not universal as he suggests
1.2 Argued that the family has 4 main functions
1.2.1 Regulation of sexual activity
1.2.2 Production of the new generation
1.2.3 Socialization of children into the culture of the community
1.2.4 Provision of economic support and necessities of life through the divison of labour
1.3 Suggested that the nuclear family meets these needs, as they are in everyday society
2 Fletcher
2.1 When marriage fails, most of the time people remarry soon after
2.2 He was concerned that the family has become too privatised
2.2.1 Enjoying the 'warm bath'
2.2.2 Caring little about society
2.3 To Fletcher the family is stronger than it was in the past where women often married for economic support or community pressure
2.3.1 The family is now a fulfilling arrangement of choice
2.4 Wrote: 'Marriage seems to be becoming increasingly in the future, a relationship of affection and companionship quite apart from having and rearing children'
2.5 Criticisms
2.5.1 Fletcher worked before the Divorce Reform Act (1969), and may have underestimate the disruption easier divorce was to cause to many families
2.5.2 Some of his views were unusal for the functionalists - being more usual for marxist
3 Parsons
3.1 Criticisms
3.1.1 The extended family does still exits
3.1.2 Feminists challenge the idea that gender roles are divided
3.1.3 Many men have expressive roles for work
3.1.4 Is out of date, Both partner's are likely to be playing the instrumental and expressive roles at various times
3.2 The family helps to stabilise these role through the sexual division of labour
3.3 Parsons elaborates on Murdock's idea, saying that children are socilized into gender roles
3.4 Parsons found that many of the tasks families performed, in simple societies were no longer a task of a family in a developed society
3.4.1 Because of this he argued that the family only have two main functions The stabilization of adult perosnalities The socialization of children into their society's culture
3.5 Labelled the men's role as the Instrumental (practical) role, and the women's role as the expressive (caring) role
3.6 The Nuclear family, helps to encpurage social mobilaty, and therefore the extended family, which stregethens the sexual division of labour is no longer used in society
4 Leach
4.1 Criticisms
4.1.1 Downplays conflict in the family, painting a very rosy picture of the family
4.1.2 Ignores the expoiltation of women
4.1.3 The family has not lost it's functions they have simply changed through society changing
4.2 Asserts that the nuclear family has been isolated from kin (privatisation)
4.3 He says that the functionalists ignore the negative affects of the family
4.4 'Far from being the basis of society, the family, with its narrow privacy and tawdry secrets it is the source of our discontents'
5 Functionalism is a Consensus theory, which emphasizes integration and harmony between the different parts of society.
5.1 The functionalists view the family as a vital 'organ' on maintaining the body of society
5.2 Suggesting that the family has a number of responsibilities, these are the functions it performs for society.
5.2.1 The functions of the family are primarily to do with the role in the preparation of children into adult society
5.2.2 and contributing to satisfy the functional prerequisites, or basic needs which enable society to survive
5.3 Functionalists are also interested in how the family fits in with other social instututions (e.g work, education) s
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