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Assess the view that the modern nuclear family is the most effective type of family unit in which to socialise children and stabilise adult personalities (24) The above view is associated mainly with the Functionalist perspective, to an extent with the Marxist perspective, while Feminists tend to disagree.George Murdock (1949) argued that that the nuclear family performs four essential functions to meet the needs of society and its members: The stable satisfaction of the sex drive – which prevents the social disruption cased by a ‘sexual free for all’; the reproduction of the next generation and thus the continuation of society over time; thirdly, the socialisation of the young into society’s shared norms and values and finally he argued the family provides for society’s economic needs by providing food and shelter.However, the family becomes more specialised – and performs two ‘essential and irreducible functions’ – these are the two mentioned in the question – the primary socialisation of children is where we are first taught societies norms and values and learn to integrate with wider society and the stabilisation of adult personalities is where the family is the place of relaxation – the place to which one returns after a hard day of working to de – stress.
Let’s face it, learning the language of sociology is half the battle!
your perspective on the family will depend on how you define the family, which isn’t necessarily as easy as you might think!
A second criticism is that while he may have been right about the 1950s, when he was writing, the nuclear family seams less relevant in our post-modern age when many couples need dual incomes – meaning the nuclear family may be too small to effectively perform the two functions mentioned in the question.
The Marxist view of the family is that it does do what is stated in the question, but they criticise the Functionalist view, arguing that the family also performs functions for Capitalism.
In short, liberal feminists have a march of progress view of family life’, the radical feminist view emphasises the ways in which the traditional nuclear family perpetuates patriarchy and focuses on the ‘dark side of family life’ and Marxist Feminists emphasise how the traditional nuclear family performs functions for capitalism, at the expense of women.
detailed class notes and evaluations covering the liberal feminist view that there is nothing wrong with the nuclear family structure as such, and that gender equality in society more generally is more important.So to conclude, while the statement in the question may have appeared to be the case in the 1950s, this no longer appears to be the case in British society today.This page provides links to blog posts on the main topics of the AQA’s Families and Households module.Is it acceptable to include friends, or pets as part of your definition . This post covers this important introductory topic.detailed class notes covering Murdock’s 4 functions of the family, Talcott Parson’s functional fit theory, and his ‘two irreducible functions of the nuclear family in industrial society’, as well as a reminder about Functionalist ideas on traditional gender roles.detailed class notes covering Engel’s theory of the relationship between private property and the emergence of the nuclear family, as well as contemporary Marxist views on the family as a unit of consumption.detailed class notes covering liberal, Marxist and radical feminist perspectives on the role of the nuclear family in society.It is the thing which should be resisted through political lesbianism, or women just staying single.this technically means Anthony Giddens and Ulrich Beck, who IMO are described as LATE MODERNISTS.Firstly, they say it performs an ‘ideological function’ in that the family convinces children, through primary socialisation, that hierarchy is natural and inevitable.Secondly, they also see the family as acting as a unit of consumption – the family is seen by Capitalists as a something to make money out of – what with the pressure to ‘keep up with the Joneses and ‘pester power’ Thus, applying Marxism we learn that the Functionalist view is too optimistic – they see the Capitalist system as infiltrating family life, through advertising, for example, which creates conflict within the family, undermining its ability to harmoniously socialise children and stabilise adult personalities.