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26 Cards in this Set

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Outline the functionalist perspective of the family

•Society is an interrelated whole

•Every indervidual has a function to ensure society works like a well oiled-machine


Family is a universal institution

1) sexual function - prevents monogamous relationships

2) reproductive function - new generations

3) economic function - self dependent

4) educational function - stable environment for primary socialisation

• Parsons

1) Primary socialisation - Children internalising norms and values

2) stabilisation of adult personalities - isolated nuclear family's have little support from extended kinship

This creates stress on the family leading to the warm bath



Evaluate the functionalist perspective of the family


Reject the 'rose intended' consensus view that the family meets the needs of the wider society.

Ignores the dark side of family life and conflict/exploitation.

•Zaretsky (Marxist)

Family provides emotional support to encourage members to work for the capitalist system.

Family becomes a servant to exploitation.

•New Right

Nuclear family is most admirable but is losing it's functions to diversity.




Outline the Marxists perspective of the family

•Power in society stems from wealth

•The Bourgeoisie own the means of production and can exploit the Proletariat


Family is indoctrinated by legitimising inequalities as part of the ideological state apparatus


The family is a place where a day at work can be alleviated.

Women are further exploited by completing unpaid domestic labour.

The family consumes commodities from the capitalist system.



Evaluate the Marxist perspective of the family

•Highly deterministic way of looking at the family, children are not solely indoctrinated in the family

•Functionalists - Family only has a positive impact on society, not creating further conflict

•Feminists - ignores the dark side of family life, therefore ignoring the main exploitation




Outline the feminist view of the family

•Fundimental division between genders

•Women are still exploited by men

•Society is patriarchal

•Radical (Greer)

Single women were happier than married women.

High number of divorces instigated by females

Family is the reason for the oppression of women


Bentson - women are seen as cheap labour through the triple shift (Duncombe & Marsden).

Ansley - Family life disadvantages women, only acting on the interests of men and the capitalist system.

•Liberal (Sumerville)

Marxist and radical do not acknowledge the extent of which women have come e.g equal pay act


Increase in family diversity where women can no longer be exploited





Evaluate the feminist view of the family


Radical view is too extemist, failing to acknowledge many loving relationships

•New Right

Feminist movement undermines the family upsetting the equalibrium that the family previously sustained, by encouraging women to explore their expressive roles



State 3 views of the New Right

•The family is the cornerstone of society

•State welfare creates a dependent underclass

•The nuclear family is the most 'natural'

What did the Rapports state about the nuclear family and why?

•The nuclear family is no longer a majority

1) organisational diversity - variations in family structure

2) cultural diversity - difference in lifestyles

3) class diversity - Social class

4) stages of the life cycle - diffences between newly weds and those with children

5) cohort - group of people born over the same time period e.g baby boom

What did Donovan identify in terms of family diversity?

Increase in gay and lesion households

'Chosen family'

What did Murray state in terms of lone parent families?

The increase in lone parent families is due to an over generous welfare state, creating a dependent underclass

New Right

State 3 functions of the neo-conventional family (Chester)

•Children reared by natural parents

•Most people stay married

•Most families headed by married couples

Nuclear family

'The nuclear family is no longer the norm' - explain why

•Rapports - increasing diversity is the norm, seen as greater freedom

•Almond - Family is fragmented

•Young - Nuclear family has declined sugnificantly

•New reproductive technology

'The nuclear family is still the norm' - explain why

•Chester - neo conventional family are still the basis of the nuclear family, statistics are just misleading

•Silvia & Smart - married couples have a sugnificant role in society

•Gittins - the nuclear family defines normality in society

Define divorce rates

The number of divorces, per 1000 married people, per population

Define empty shell marriage

A couple live together but there is no affections e.g economic reasons

Outline reasons for the increased divorce rates

•Change in attitudes


•Stigma in society

•Labour force

Evaluate the reasons for the decrease in marriage rates

•Greater choice can lead to greater instability

•The majority of first marriages do takes place in religious context, suggesting religion still has an influence

•Some just put of marriage until they are settled enough (economically are career)

Define segregated conjugal roles

Husband is the breadwinner

•wife tends to domestic work and child care

Define joint conjugal roles

Both husband and wife complete paid work, domestic work and child care

Define the expressive role

Caring/nurturing role

Define the instrumental role

The ecomomic/breadwinner role

'The family has become more equal' - explain why

•Young & Willmot

Joint conjugal roles were more common

Domestic work wasn't shared equally, but each indervidual covered different roles so overall roles were divided


Perception of fairness in domestic labour

women don't always get 50:50 split, but is still seen as fair

•changes in the role of men

men don't tend to be the only earners in a household so have the same responsibility for the children and housework

Young & Willmot


change in male roles

'The family has become less equal' - explain why



15% of men contribute to housework and 30% to child care

•Duncombe & Marsden

triple shift


women are seen as free labour


Duncombe & Marsden


Define domestic violence

Actions involving the use of force or threat of force against current or former partners in an intimate relationship

Define domestic abuse

Actions that are damaging to current or ex partners in an intimate relationship (physical, sexual, emotional and financial)

Outline why domestic violence occurs

•Abbott & Wallace

male perception that partner is failing at her duties


The family is an 'overloaded electrical circuit that is ready to blow a fuse'

Lack of social support from friends due to the isolation of the family


Family curbs the freedom for children and ruins their indervidualist nature

Abbott & Wallace