Sociological Perspectives on the Family

2325 Words Sep 6th, 2011 10 Pages
Sociological Perspectives on the Family
SOC101: Introduction to Sociology
Instructor: Jeanette Maxey
August 15, 2011

Sociological Perspectives on the Family
In the field of sociology, there are numerous approaches sociologists reflect on when studying humankind’s behavior. Sociologists argue that no single theory is correct by itself; but to a certain extent, they draw on all of them for various purposes. Sociologists vision the social world in diverse ways, meaning seeing the world as stable and a continuing entity. Those who have this view contend they are impressed with the endurance of social institutions such as family.
Family is “one of the most important aspects of what happens to us over the life course.” (Vissing, 2011)
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Thus, the individual is produced by society. From the functionalist perspective, one could conclude that the individual’s perspective is shaped by understanding their role, function and responsibility within the family unit. Unity and progress are achieved when each individual understands, commits, accepts responsibility and is accountable in their role. Discord and chaos are achieved when even one member does not understand, will not commit or refuses to accept and function within their role. For example, a father would be expected to be one who must provide and protect his family. This is based on standards of expectations of what fathers are supposed to do and what fatherhood means in the given society of which they belong. Individuals who adhere to functionalism would be rooted in their functions, roles, and expectations that are expected of them.
Social Change
Functionalists believe societal change is predictable and positive (Vissing, 2011). Social change within the family is planned for and expected. Social change and interaction within the family is hoped for as a child grows. A toddler learns to walk; children learn to dress themselves; and teens begin choosing their own music and style of dress. By graduation they are almost autonomous. As long as children and parents agree with the roles they are expected to fill, the family can
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