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What are the strengths and weaknesses of sociological analyses of the family?

Functionalism and Family Performance

The family structures are considered to be developing over the time, as a result to the social changes that have been brought by the industrialization. This is of a particular interest for those who are studying the sociology of family which includes the functionalism, Marxism and feminism. The intention of the essay is to discuss about the evaluation of theories through using the sociological study which can help in improving the school of thought.

Functionalism is about how family is able perform its functions in the society. The functionalists normally focus on the social institution (Lesnard, Cousteaux, Chanvril, & Le Hay, 2016). The family also allow the children to lean on factors like the language, society with values and norms. Not only this, there are possibilities of the role to pass on social skills and knowledge in childhood. The family performances is a basic important function, where the functionalist theory is supported through Parson “Social Structure of Family”. For example, there are many small societies which are taking care of the elder people but in the industrial areas, they are taken care by the care homes. According to the analysis, the primary socialization considers that the socialization takes place in the family, at the early years of childhood. There are processes which involves primary socialization and there are other internalization processes of society culture that needs to structure personality (Díaz-Méndez, & Gómez-Benito, 2017).

Parson is working on idealizing the family image where the examples are about how the feminists look on the male dominated nature of the traditional family structure. The functionalities do not consider any alternatives for the family. There are Marxist theory of interests with powerful groups that aim to determine about how the society is organized. The family is considered to be important part which is able to maintain the economic system as well. There are strengths and weakness of the functionalist framework, where the theories generally look for the positive functions in a family and then giving a look into the negative aspects as well. The third theory is feminism where the feminists perspectives focus on the different types of the cultural and the social or political movements (Hart, 2016). They are mainly concerned about the problems related to the inequality of gender and the prejudice against the women. The strengths and weakness is depending upon the feminist perspectives. The ideal family structure is looked upon that an individual is having a nuclear family or where the couple stays with their children. The aspects like practices of families of different religions are not considered mainly because the feminists might exaggerate the family effects on women. The symbolic interactionism focus on the student’s attention on how the human interaction help in creating the rules that are for working on further interactions. There is an inductive, qualitative approach to properly understand the individuals and interactions of group to focus on how one is able to prevent the understanding of larger structural contexts (Holborn, Langley & Haralambos, 2004).  

Marxism and Inequality

The theories are determined through the structural pattern where they see that the family is in relation to a wider context and describes it as the institution which is able to maintain the social values as well. The similarities are to look at the family in terms of ideology and the ideas of how the things can be. The theories generally focus on the functionalism with major emphasis on the stability, cohesion and consensus. When compared to Marxism, one shows complete interest in the powerful groups which have a major influence on the structure of family. The arguments are about the economical needs of the society with the changes that have a major influence on the social institution. Marxism theory discusses about the structural conflict perspectives where the society is structured with the class lines working in the interests of the small elite classes. There are conflict of interests which boils over the revolution mainly because the institutions perform the functions for the control of ideological forms (Ruggiero, 2015). There are discussions on how the modern family functions are able to work on promoting values that ensure about the reproduction and the capitalism maintenance. The family is considered important for the ideological apparatus which socializes the people to think that there are justifications for the inequality and encourage people to access the capitalist system as completely fair. The families need to keep up with proper services which are seen to be acquired by the other neighbors and peers. The media and companies target the children for the advertisements who then persuade the parents through pester power for buying expensive items. One needs to be deterministic with assuming how the people are passively able to accept the socialization and the family life, where the future is seen to be pre-determined.

The contributions are made by functionalists where Marxists and the feminists perspectives are defined to sociology that has brought a complete understanding on how the family works. The highlight is about the different social factors which are included to create specific conditions in the family. The examples are related to the economy effect on family, where the study is about the role within society and how it affects the people (Both male and female). The approach is based on the survey research of the different contemporary families which holds the benefits for leaving the statistical data about how one can interpolate the society general traits (McMunn et al., 2015). The other method is ethnography research where survey allows a broader and shallow analysis, where the observation is to obtain a proper and rich information that will allow the research based on insider perspectives. The evaluation of the theories include the distribution on how the structural theories are able to work with wider social context and describe the family as an institution. This will help in maintaining the established social values with explaining roles and relationship through the sociology. The sociology focus on understanding the social interaction and the organization is able to handle the social changes as well. The major themes include the interplay between individual and society where society is stable and changing, the causes and the consequences which are related to the inequality. The social construction need to understand about how one is able to explain the patterns that change over the time and in a different setting as well. The social science includes the perspectives that are related to careers and how the people are prepared to undertake the central concepts of social interaction and relationship (McGarry, Walklate & Mythen, 2015). There is a need to introduce the students with a proper dynamic interplay between the theory and the logic for the scientific methods. The theory helps in explaining about the coherent manner where the varieties of societal organization includes the symbolic interactionism, exchange theory and the feminist theory. The functionalism is about how the students are aware of the analogy of society.

Conjugal roles are determined through creating views where the people are able to understand how they behave. There are media and other several agents of socialization to view on changed roles of men and women. A women might earn a lot of money, but she still has to end up holding the household work, at a larger level. The males can only contribute their help but the housework for the women is not distributed equally with work. Hence, it clearly demonstrate the domestic labor exploitation. There are theories about how the men have more control over the women so that there is no doubt of paternity of their offspring. This theory is relevant to the Marxist theory that includes the evolutionary approach to argue on different modes of production changes, done to the family. The argument is mainly due to the ownership of the private property where the state need to initiate the laws which helps in solving the problem of inheritance as well.

References

Díaz-Méndez, C., & Gómez-Benito, C. (2017). Nutrition and the Mediterranean Diet: A Historical and Sociological Analysis of the Concept of a ‘Healthy Diet’in Spanish Society?. In Transforming the Rural: Global Processes and Local Futures(pp. 283-309). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Hart, D. (2016). A sociological analysis of associations between the family and well-being: roles, responsibilities, and relationships (Doctoral dissertation, University of Essex).

Holborn, M., Langley, P., & Haralambos, M. (2004). Haralambos and Holborn Sociology: Themes and Perspectives. AS-and A-level Student Handbook Accompanies the Sixth Edition. Collins Educational. Pg 105-110.

Lesnard, L., Cousteaux, A. S., Chanvril, F., & Le Hay, V. (2016). Do transitions to adulthood converge in Europe? An optimal matching analysis of work–family trajectories of men and women from 20 European countries. European Sociological Review, 32(3), 355-369.

McGarry, R., Walklate, S., & Mythen, G. (2015). A sociological analysis of military resilience: Opening up the debate. Armed Forces & Society, 41(2), 352-378.

McMunn, A., Lacey, R., Worts, D., McDonough, P., Stafford, M., Booker, C., ... & Sacker, A. (2015). De-standardization and gender convergence in work–family life courses in Great Britain: A multi-channel sequence analysis. Advances in Life Course Research, 26, 60-75.

Ruggiero, J. A. (2015). Adopting children from US public foster care: A sociological analysis with practical implications. Sociology Between the Gaps: Forgotten and Neglected Topics, 1(1), 9.

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