Structural theories of the family

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  • Theories on the family
    • Marxist
      • Engels
        • Inheritance keeps legitimate children rich  by passing wealth down and keeping it in family
        • Marriage was socially constructed to replicate capitalism
      • Zaretsky
        • Cushioning the effects of capitalism: the family helps destress the breadwinner after his alienating  work and allows him to return mentally healthy
      • Althusser
        • The family  consumes the products of capitalism and acts as a unit of consumption e.g Peter power forces the parents to buy unneeded goods, pressure to keep up with the joneses
        • Teaching of the dominant value system: family helps a child to understand obedience and power dynamics  preparing them for capitalism
    • functionalist
      • Murdock
        • Socialisation: teaches Norms and values. Done through expressive role
        • Sexual: safe sexual outlet
        • Economic: meet economic and human needs through instrumental role
        • Reproductive:keeps society continuing
      • Parsons
        • Primary socialisation - teaches Norms and values and contributes to gender roles and personality
        • S.O.A.P - the family and home are a safe place for the breadwinner to destress and act like a warm bath
          • Having children: Helps reinforce the norms and values in parents and allows childish actions to relieve stress
          • Marriage: able to have someone to talk to always
    • Feminist
      • Radical feminist
        • Delphy and Leonard
          • Appropriation of roles: gender role conditioning is appropriate to ones sex and attributes relating to this. Seen through marriage view e.g serve and obey; giving away by father to husband
      • Marxist feminist
        • Cooper and Feeley
          • Ideological conditioning socialises the children into DVS and structures the gender roles and personality e.g housewife role is normal and natural for women, manual labour is normal for men. And that wage inequality is RIGHT
        • Ansley and  Benson
          • Women and the family produces cheap labour for capitalism which reinforces it . Family also  keeps wages low as it pays for both the manual labour and the “**** taking”
        • Barrett and MacIntosh
          • Familialism: traditional nuclear family is praised and idolised. Society says that this is the only normal and right way to live, all other functions are inferior (family-ism; prejudice against family types)




Structural theories of the family

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