The British Sociological Association defines sociology as being ‘how society is organized and how we experience life’. It looks at the different societies, the groups within these, and how they all interact. Society is organised into various different social institutions, which can be built like building block to make our society; families, the education system, the legal system, the healthcare services etc. Social institutions function accordingly with customs, rules and regulations. A family is a group of people who are related to one another i.e. grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. A household is a term to describe these family members who live in the same house, e.g. parents and their children
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He created the idea that society was a ‘system made up of interrelated institutions’ which needed to work together in order to society to function successfully. It also looks at how each individual has a function within society similar to each organ having a function within the human body. There are controls which enable deviants to be controlled and get them functioning with society again. Parson’s also thought that people had to socialise and learn values and behaviours because this was important in the functioning of society. Therefore, it is important that families socialise so that children can take part in primary socialisation. Another sociologist, George Murdock, studied a variety of families and concluded that there are four functions of the family; sexual, reproductive, socialisation and economic functions. Parsons agrees in that families have functions but only two; socialisation of children, and stabilisation of adult personalities (the breadwinner) so that they can look after the children.
However, it is not without its criticisms. There are many criticisms that can be made about this approach but a few of these are… It makes general assumptions; it views society being in harmony with one another and does not explain conflict in societal areas. It also doesn’t explain the reason behind deviant behaviour. It also says that within the cultures, people share values, but this isn’t true. This is because research cannot