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Asses the Contribution of Functionalist Sociologists to Our Understanding of the Family.

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Submitted By rahimakhan
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Asses the contribution of functionalist sociologists to our understanding of the family.

A function is a purpose and explains how this institution contributes to the maintenance and smooth running of society this approach to society is called functionalism. From a functionalists point of view a family is a heterosexual couple with dependent children, male is the breadwinner and woman is the housewife. Functionalists believe that the nuclear family supports society because it is geographically mobile and allows the family to move around with little trouble.

Functionalists believe that society is based on a shared value consensus, this is a set of shared norms and values into which society socializes its members this enables society to work harmoniously and meet society's needs and goals.

George Murdoch said that their are four main functions of the nuclear family these are; sexual, it strengthens relations in the family. Reproductive, family is the main unit of production. Educational, family is responsible for primary education. Economic, the family has to produce and consume something in order to satisfy its needs and wants. The nuclear family can be extended vertically, horizontally or by polygamy.

Some may argue that Murdoch's definition is weak because at that time sex before marriage was not accepted as was single mothers and homo-sexual families.

Talcott Parsons argued that although there are many functions that the family has lost with changes in society there are two essential functions the family has not lost.

Primary Socialization, parsons argued that an individual must learn the shared norms and values of society. Without this there would be no consensus and without consensus there would be no social life.

Stabilization of adult personalities, according to Parsons, families help to stabilize adult...

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