Sociological View On The Family

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This essay will discuss the different sociological views on the family such as the functionalist, conflict and finally the symbolic interactionist perspectives, it will include a critical evaluation on each perspective, with reference to the sociological canon.
When discussing the family in a sociological context, there are numerous matters which are studied such as teenage childbearing, delinquency, abuse of substances, being a mother, domestic abuse, and divorce. As mentioned above the sociology of the family has three main approaches. The functionalist perspective studies the conduct of society, and whether it is structured. It concentrates on the relationships between individuals and how they are controlled in terms of rules.
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Secondly, there are many other institutions other than the family whom perform the same functions as the family. Murdock’s idea of all societies having a family is also criticised by the Anthropological research, as it has discovered that there are cultures whom don’t have families, for example the Nayar. Another way in which Murdock’s research is seen as imperfect is, his research is based solely on a nuclear family, he does not study several other families that exist in society, such as lone parent families, or homosexual couples.
In addition to this, Murdock’s research has given a valuable insight of the families’ significance to society as he studied how a family functions in society.
Talcott Parsons (1959) stated that the family perform the two fundamental functions in society, primary socialisation, and the stabilisation of adult personalities. The most important part of socialisation in a functionalist’s perspective is gender role socialisation. Primary socialisation occurs in initial stages of childhood and the family plays a crucial role at this point. The family achieves two things at this stage. Firstly, the transmission of culture of society to the children, the child should be able to internalise the norms and values expected of them from society this then assists them to accomplish the second task which is stabilising of the adult
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