Family Is An Ever Changing Institution Essay

950 Words May 30th, 2016 4 Pages
Family is an ever-changing institution, which is highly debated amongst sociologists. With no satisfactory definition or description in place to encapsulate the essence of family, we can argue that the dynamic aspect surrounding family makes it impossible to pinpoint, and then rather than being a mere descriptive concept, can argue must be a form of ideology. An ideology is defined as “a dominant set of ideas, comprising thoughts, notions, opinions and meanings that people come to attach to a phenomenon” (Linda McKie, 2012), how we interpret ‘the family’ and the functions we adjoin to it therefore, is dependent on which sociological theory is applied to it. Ideologies change throughout time, and we see this reflected in our conception of what constitutes the family.

In the 1950s, 60s and early 70s, sociology of the family was dominated by the structural functionalist perspective, which treated the family as a universal feature, built around a biological basis surrounding kin relations (McLennon et al, 2014?). Dominated by sociologists such as Goode (1963), Parsons and Murdock, this approach saw the nuclear family as the most suitable ideal surrounding family. The nuclear family can be described as “a social group characterised by common residence, economic co-operation, and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults.’…

Related Documents