Assess the Functionalist View of the Family. Essay examples

1027 Words Oct 21st, 2012 5 Pages
‘Assess the functionalist view of the family?’
Functionalist looks at society on a macro level. It is a consensus theory and structuralists prefer to use functionalism as it agrees with their ideals and models and they prefer to look at society as a whole. Functionalists are interested in studying what family is most functional.
This essay will assess how functionalists view point of the family by exploring Murdock, Comte, Parsons and Durkheim, the founder of functionalism, ideas and evaluating them.

As a functionalist view, they believed that the family had to teach the norms and values so they believed that the ‘Traditional Nuclear Family’ was the best type of family. Functionalists believed that the husband and wife have segregated
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both adults in a gay/lesbian household can provide a stable satisfaction of the sex drive. Plus, as Parson states, the family only have two basic functions which are primary socialisation; where the children are first moulded to conform mainstream values and stabilization of adult personalities; where the two adults balance each other and help sort out stresses of everyday life. Therefore the functionalist view of the family is idealistic as it ignores the ‘dark side’ of the family; it is deterministic where it ignores the fact that children actively create their own personalities, and ignores family diversity.
Another functionalist view of the family is how the family structure changed. Some sociologists would argue that in pre-industrial society, the nuclear family was the most dominant family type. As they also argue that industrialisation caused the family type to change, from being nuclear to extended. Whereas in today’s society, nuclear is claimed to be the most dominant. Functionalists are interested in looking at the most functioning family during the pre-industrial and industrial society. Functionalists claim the nuclear family to be the most functional fit for modern society. But was the nuclear type of family the most dominant in modern society? As Laslett exclaims that 10% households were extended

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