as family and household

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If the family exists (as Murdock says it does universally), then it must be performing some function(s) or fulfilling some purpose(s). A number of functionalist sociologists have presented accounts of the way in which this happens. GP Murdock Four essential functions of the family Murdock argues that the family is a universal institution (it exists everywhere) that performs four major functions Stable satisfaction of the sex drive with the same partner, preventing the social disruption caused by sexual free-for-all. Reproduction of the next generation, without which society would not be able to continue. Socialisation of the young into societys shared norms and values. Meeting its members economic needs, such as shelter and food. Talcott…show more content…
The ideological state apparatus control at the level of consciousness the socialisation of norms and values that maintain the status quo, through religion, the media and so on. These two mechanisms form a web or complex pattern of interrelationships controlling the individual through physical force or ideology. This distinction reflects the ideas of Gramsci (1971), who claims that ideological control is more secure than repressive control in the long term, but if ideology breaks down then repression will be resorted to as capitalisms last hope. The family can be seen as serving the functions of an ideological state apparatus by socialising both pro-capitalist ideology and its own familiar ideology in order to maintain such family patterns over time. For example the family socialises its members into accepting gender roles, into accepting that it is natural for men and women to get married and engage in separate roles and jobs in the home an attitude that is passed down from generation to generation. For feminists such a family ideology supports patriarchy since it suggests that men and women should have different roles in the family and society roles that lead to the subordination of women to men. Evaluation of the Marxist approach Marxist views of the family follow logically from Marxist theory. If, for example, the family provides emotional support for workers, then this helps them to accept the injustices of the capitalist system.
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