Sociology FAMILIES

Sociology FAMILIES

Essay title: Assess the usefulness of the functionalist theory theory of the family The functionalist theory portrays the idea that society is built on harmony and consensus which is free from major conflict. Functionalists see the family as one of the most important social institutions as it is beneficial both for the individual and society, meeting the needs of society for social order and stability. Morocco agues that the family performs four essential functions which meets the needs of society stable satisfaction Of the sex drive with the same partner.

Reproduction of the next generation which would allow society to continue. It was argued that the family is compared to a biological organization such as the human body for example, the family exists to meet the basic needs of society such as the need to socialism children just as the vital organs like the heart or lungs perform duties in order to keep the well being of the body as a whole safe. A weakness here would be that Feminists argue that these roles are socially constructed through the process of gender role solicitation rather than being biologically inherited.

In Parson’s functionalist model of the family, he states there is a clear division f labor between spouses, the husband has an instrumental role aimed towards providing for his family financially, usually known as the breadwinner whereas the wife, has an expressive role which is focused more on meeting the families needs emotionally and primary solicitation of the children this is known as the home maker, a full time housewife.

Parson’s also saw the family as a ‘Warm bath” the reason being as it provides stress relief of everyday life as a warm bath would, by this it also gives them emotional security and support. This allows stability not only to society but the wider society. A weakness would be linked to Parsons view of the traditional expressive and instrumental roles which are seen to be rather outdated and old fashioned as both males and females share the breadwinner/financial role.

Fletcher (1966) argues that due to the development of certain policies such as health and education, gradually a welfare state has been created which supports the family the family in performing its functions more effectively such as the existence of the NASH as families are able to care for those family members when sick. However a criticism made from this assumes ‘march Of regress’ with policies making family life better, whereas Marxist argue policies can also argue policies can also reverse progress previously made e. . Cutting welfare benefits to poor families. A disadvantage towards the functionalist view of the positive role of the family is that although it emphasizes this it neglects “darker side” of the family life such as child abuse and other forms of violence. Although the functionalist theory consists of many useful strengths there is seen to be more weaknesses such as the views coming across as being old fashioned and out dated and not of very much use.

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