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26 Cards in this Set

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What does Parsons' think about the family?

He believes socialisation,the teaching of norms and values and the stablisation of adult personalities being allowed to be more childlike and understanding the rules of society.


What does Murdock think about the family?

He believes the family has four functions-

*Sex-With the same partner,preventing social disruption.

*Reproduction-Without which society could not continue.

*Socialisation-Into society's norms and values.

*Economic-Meeting its members need such as food and shelter.


What does Marx think about the family?

He believes the functions of the family are performed purely for the benefit of the capitalist system,this contrasts with the functionalist view.


What does Zaretsky think of the family?

Zaretsky believes that the family performs an ideological function by offering an apparent 'haven' from the harsh and exploitative world of capitalism in which workers can be themselves.



Women are exploited in family life,They want to change laws and education system to make it fairer.

Sue Sharp- teenage girls are becoming more ambitious in response to the changes in society.



They believe the nuclear family happened when capitalism happened and that the structure of society that oppresses women.Only men benefit from marriage and inheritance.



They believe men are the enemy,men benefit from women,not the other way round.

Germaine Greer-Argues for the creation of matriarchal family.



Women cannot be generalised.All women are different and have varied issues and experiences depending on their ethinicity.


The newright oppose to family diversity,nuclear family is the only right family type.They also disapprove of mothers working.

Murray-More lone parent families due to over generous welfare state.Lone parent families created the underclass.


Giddens-Families transformed through greater choice.

Hareven-Variation and flexibility within peoples families,studies lifecourse.

Emphisises the dominance of nuclear family.


Fletcher-Higher expectation of marriage.

Less stigma attached to divorce as religion has less influence on people.Women are now more independent.


Marriage has decreased dues to less stigma attached to cohabitation.

Rise in one person households due to higher divorce rate and more 'living apart together' relationships.

More same sex relationships due to less stigma.

Patterns-Ethnic differences

Asian families-relative close ,most are nuclear rather than extended.

Black families-Mostly headed by females.

Patterns-Extended family

Charles-The extended family is almost extinct, however extended families still exist in Bangladeshi families.

Willmott and young-It continues to exist as a 'dispersed extended family' where relatives live separately but remain on constant contact.

Couples-Division of labour


Parsons-Instrumental and expressive roles.Women are more naturally suited to nurturing children (expressive).Men are more geared to success at work so that he can provide for his family (instrumental).

Couples-Division of labour

Joint and segregated roles

Bott distinguishes between two types of roles.

Segregated conjugal- The couples roles are seperate,male is the breadwinner and female is the homemaker/carer.

Joint conjugal- The couple shares tasks such as housework and childcare.

Couples-Division of labour

Symmetrical family

Willmott and Young take a march of progress view of the history of the family.They see that family life is gradually improving for all its members.

By a symmetrical family they mean one in which the roles of husband and wife are becoming more equal and similar.

Couples-Division of labour

Feminist view of housework.

Feminist sociologist reject this march of progress view.They argue that little has changed.

Ann Oakley-Argues although men 'help' around the house this could simply include taking the children for a walk or making breakfast on the odd occasion.

Couples-Impacts of Paid work


Jonathan Gershuny-Found that wives who worked full time did less domestic work.wives who didn't work did 83%,wives that worked part time did 82%,wives that worked full time did 73%.

Couples-Impacts of paid work

Commercialisation of housework

Hilary Silver and Juliet Schor stress the importance of two major economic developments in reducing the burden of housework on women.

Housework has become commercialised,products are now mass produced and now that women work it means they can afford to purchase goods and services.

Couples-Impacts of paid work

Lesbian couples

Gillian Dunne argues that the division of labour continues because of deeply ingrained gender scripts.

She found that lesbian couples shared housework and childcare.Equal importance is given to both partners careers.

Couples-Impacts of paid work

Triple shift

Triple shift- When women do paid work,Housework and emotion work.

Resources and decision making

Barrett & McIntosh-Men gain more from womens domestic work than they give back in financial support. Grahams found that women that have seperated from their husbands and are now living of benefits say both them and their children are better off. Vogler focuses on how each partners contribution affects decision making.She identifies 2 types of control over money,Pooling-both partners have access to income.Allowance system-Men give their wives an allowance that will meet family needs.

Hardill's found that important decisions were usually made by the men. Finch's found that womens lives were usualy structured around their husbands careers.

Domestic Violence


According to the British crime survey (2007) domestic violence accounts for a 6th of all violence crimes.

Domestic violence follows patterns,these have social causes.

Dobash and Dobash found that violent incidents could be set off by what a husband saw as a challenge to his authority,such as his wife asking why he was late home for dinner.

Domestic violence

Yearnshire found that on average a women suffers 35 assaults before making a report.

David Cheal says the reluctance is due to the fact that police are not prepared to become involved in the family.

Domestic violence


Richard Wilkinson offers an explanation of these patterns.He sees domestic violence as the result of stress on the family members caused by social inequality.

Worries abouts money,jobs and housing may spill over into conflict.

Lack of money and time restricts peoples social circle and reduces social support for those under stress.