Assess the Functionalist View of the Family.

1031 WordsOct 15, 20125 Pages
‘Assess the functionalist view of the family?’ Functionalist looks at society on a macro level. It is a consensus theory and structuralists prefer to use functionalism as it agrees with their ideals and models and they prefer to look at society as a whole. Functionalists are interested in studying what family is most functional. This essay will assess how functionalists view point of the family by exploring Murdock, Comte, Parsons and Durkheim, the founder of functionalism, ideas and evaluating them. As a functionalist view, they believed that the family had to teach the norms and values so they believed that the ‘Traditional Nuclear Family’ was the best type of family. Functionalists believed that the husband and wife have segregated…show more content…
There were also needs for industrial society and from there, change/ structure of the family type evolved to meet societies needs to survive such as loss of functions in extended family, where industrial society took over some functions a family would perform for its members such as healthcare (NHS). And another was geographically mobile workforce; where the family had to move to places for jobs demanding their skills. But with extended families, they couldn’t take the whole family, just maybe the wife and kids etc. However, linking with the question, the functionalists view of the family was that nuclear families were the most dominant, but they change their views during industrialisation, believing that extended was the more dominant at the time for survival of the family to fit into society, but in today’s society, functionalists have changed their view once more, which resorted back to their first view of nuclear family being more dominant. Another view on how Functionalist views the family, as they believe every institution in society contributes to the smooth running of society. To functionalists the family is at the heart of society. Functionalist view suggests that the nuclear family has become socially isolated from extended kin. More reliant on the Welfare State.
Open Document