Family theories: Functionalist

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  • Family theories: Functionalism
    • Murdochs four family functions are reproduction, satisfaction of sex drive, socialisation and financial support
      • Can't these functions be performed by other family types than the nuclear family?
      • Families are not always harmonious or full of consensus
    • Parsons' functionalist fit theory - the nuclear family is more fit to meet the needs of an industrial society than other types
      • Loss of functions - the family has become only a unit of consumption in today's society, rather than a unit of production
      • Laslett studied census statistics and found that nuclear families were the main family type before I.R
      • Extended families are still  important to many in poverty
    • Fletcher - families help to create a value consensus
      • Do high rates of divorce reflect a value consensus in families?


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