AS Sociology - Families and Households functionalist perspective.


A mind map summarising functionalist views on the topics families and households.
Camille Bailey
Mind Map by Camille Bailey, updated more than 1 year ago
Camille Bailey
Created by Camille Bailey about 8 years ago

Resource summary

AS Sociology - Families and Households functionalist perspective.
  1. A brief overview of functionalists.
    1. They believe society is based on consensus.
      1. It is harmonious, it meets the needs of society and the individual.
      2. They believe in the organic analogy ->
        1. They believe society is structural, it has clear fixed structures.
          1. They take a macro approach.
            1. Key theorists
            2. Childhood
              1. They believe that there has been a march of progress.
                1. Childhood is a golden age. - Pilcher (1995)
                  1. Happiness and innocence.
                    1. Clear and distinct life stage.
                      1. It is separate from the adult world.
                      2. Children are protected from adulthood.
                        1. Therefore they are better socilalised.
                          1. And then they become better adapted adults.
                      3. Family diversity
                        1. Parsons sees the nuclear family provides the best 'functional fit' in society.
                          1. The roles within the division of labour are:
                            1. Expressive - The wife takes care of domesticity, emotions and raises the children.
                              1. Instrumental - The husband is the breadwinner and provides economical capital and provides for the family
                                1. These two roles allow the family to perform two essential functions:
                                  1. The primary socialisation of children.
                                    1. Stabilisation of adult personalities.
                                  2. Other family types are considered dysfunctional.
                                2. Changing family patterns
                                  1. They like marriage as it creates a 'functional fit'.
                                    1. They are 'On the fence' about divorce, it's not a threat as remarriage shows committed to the idea of marriage.
                                      1. Other family types are dysfunctional.
                                      2. Social policy
                                        1. The state acts on behalf of its member's best interests.
                                          1. Fletcher (1966) argues the introduction of health, education and housing policies since the industrial revolution has led to the development of the welfare state that supports families.
                                            1. For example, the NHS.
                                        2. Role of the family
                                          1. Murdock (1949) believes the family perform 4 essential functions to meet the needs of society and its members.
                                            1. 1. Stable satisfaction of the sex drive.
                                              1. 2. Reproduction of the next generation.
                                                1. 3. Socialisation of the young.
                                                  1. 4. Meeting its members economical needs.
                                                  2. Parsons argues there is only two functions.
                                                    1. 2. The stabilisation of adult personalities.
                                                      1. 1. The primary socialisation of children.
                                                        1. He also says that the functions that a family performs depends on the society it is found in.
                                                          1. It performs a 'functional fit'.
                                                            1. He identifies two family types:
                                                              1. Nuclear family
                                                                1. Britain began to industrialise.
                                                                  1. Industrialisation brought along two new needs:
                                                                    1. 1. Geographically mobile workforce.
                                                                      1. 2. Socially mobile workforce.
                                                                  2. Extended family
                                                                    1. In pre-industrial times this was the best 'functional fit'.
                                                                      1. They needed to be self-sufficient.
                                                                        1. A unit of production and consumption.
                                                              2. Couples
                                                                1. Parsons clear division of labour roles:
                                                                  1. Instrumental
                                                                    1. Expressive
                                                                      1. Believes there are biological differences between sexes.
                                                                        1. Women being more 'naturally' suited to the nurturing role
                                                                          1. Men being more suited to the provider role.
                                                                        2. Bott (1957) talks about two types of conjugal roles within a marriage.
                                                                          1. Segregated conjugal roles
                                                                            1. Joint conjugal roles
                                                                              1. Young and Willmott found there had been a march of progress in Bethnal Green from segregated to joint over 20 years.
                                                                                1. They call a family with joint roles a symmetrical family.
                                                                                  1. This march of progress is because of these certain social changes:
                                                                                    1. 1. New technology
                                                                                      1. 2. Geographical mobility
                                                                                        1. 3. Higher standards of living
                                                                                          1. 4. Changes in the position in women
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