The Importance Of The Family

1880 Words Dec 11th, 2015 8 Pages
Discuss the Importance of the family in society
The family is a unit which in itself serves a different purpose in society, although the unit actually stays the same its functions vary depending on which sociological theory it is being perceived from.
This essay intends to discuss the importance of the family in society using theories and studies to support this, and will look at the family according to the functionalist theory, the Marxist theory, and the feminist theory. It will look at how gender roles have become more equal and how social policy has contributed to this. It will also look at diversity through sociological theories including that of post modernists.
Functionalists such as Talcott Parsons, see the family as a key factor in the building of society and look primarily toward the nuclear family. The functionalist view is that the family perform important functions, such as socialising children so bringing them up to follow family traditions and beliefs, and meeting the emotional needs of its members. Functionalists believe without these functions society would fail to exist (Cook, S 2007).
In a study of 250 societies, George Peter Murdock argued that the family was universal and performed four essential functions; stable satisfaction of the sex drive within faithful relationships, the biological reproduction of the next generation, socialisation of children and meeting its members economic needs (Moodle 2015).
Functionalists views have strongly criticised…
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