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Soc Family Thry 1

AQA A Level Sociology - The Family: Theories

SummaryTheoristYearIdeology
There are four main functions of the family - sexual, reproduction, socialisation and economic. Murdock 1949 Functionalist
There are two functions of the nuclear family - primary socialisation of children and stabilisation of the adult personality. This is a result of structural differentiation. Parsons 1951 Functionalist
The isolated nuclear family has emerged because it is well adapted to meet the needs of individuals and the whole of society. Parsons 1951 Functionalist
Men play an 'instrumental' role and women play an 'expressive' role. Parsons 1951 Functionalist
Privatisation and isolation of the family leads to families demanding too much of one another and causing stress. Leach 1967 Functionalist
Family can be a destructive and exploitative institution. Cooper 1972 Marxist
Structural differentiation leads to more pressure being put on parents, rather than less, because of things like social services meaning they need to take better care of their children. Fletcher 1966 -
The monogamous family developed as a means of passing on private property to heirs. Women provided sex and heirs in return for economic security provided by the husband. Engels 1820-1895 (VERY OUTDATED) Marxist
Family is a capitalist ideological state apparatus serving to maintain a false class consciousness. Althusser 1971 Marxist
The family serves as a private and relaxing place that takes one's mind off capitalism, hence serving to undermine opposition to capitalism. (Male orientated view; home life not relaxing for women - Marxist feminists). Zaretsky 1976 Marxist
The general family is the ‘Symmetrical Family’ with the division of labour being equal and being home and child centred. Willmott and Young 1975 Functionalist
Industrialisation did not bring about the death of the extended family as quickly as Parsons suggests - there was a gradual ‘march of progress’. Willmott and Young - -
Murdock’s ideas are ethnocentric and purely reflective of the American family in the 1940s. They fail ro recognise (Criticising) Murdock
The nuclear family is a universal institution because it is so vital. Murdock 1949 Functionalist
Created by: lottieball17
 

 



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