What Is Family In Sociology?

By Saul Mcleod, published October 03, 2022


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Functionalism

Functionalist view of the family is that the family is one of the corner stones of society. It performs essential functions which support social stability.

According to Parsons working life in Industrial society is stressful and the family is a place where the working man can return and be ‘de-stressed’ by his wife, which reduces conflict in society.

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Marxism

Marxists believe that the family is a tool of capitalism and its main function is to maintain capitalism and reinforce social inequalities.

Marxists agree with Functionalists that the family is a key part of the socialisation process. However Marxists believe that the family socialises the next generation into the ruling class ideology and the unequal social hierarchy.

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Feminism

Feminists are critical of the family as a social institutions. They believe that the family is a tool of female oppression and in particular the nuclear family serves the needs of men rather than women.

They believe that gender inequality is a social construction and not a natural phenomena.

Liberal Feminism

Radical Feminism

Marxist Feminism

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Primary Socialization

Primary socialization is the process by which an individual learns the basic values, norms, and behaviors that are expected of them by their society.

It usually takes place during childhood and is mainly achieved through the family and education system.

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Social Institutions

The family is one of the most important social institutions. It is considered a "building block" of society because it is the primary unit through which socialization occurs.

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Instrumental And Expressive Roles In The Family
Instrumental And Expressive Roles

Instrumental roles provide financial support and establish family status, while expressive roles involve providing emotional support and physical care.

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