The Functionalist View of the Family
It is undoubted that functionalism has contributed to the general
understanding of the family, even if you don’t believe the
functionalist view-point to be correct, it still plays an essential
part in the topic of sociology by simply being there to conflict the
Marxist view of the family.
The functionalist view of society makes the assumption that every
society has a range of basic needs. Functionalists would say that if
these needs are being met then the society is functioning and it is
more likely to survive over a longer period of time.
Functionalist view is considered to be a consensus theory because it
tends to accentuate the “need” for shared norms and values.
Several functionalist sociologists have tried to explain the
relevance of families in society, and the reasons (other then the
obvious biological reason) as to why they exist. One such sociologist
is American Talcott Parsons (1955). Parsons based his views on a
sample of “modern North American” families, he believed that the
family had become a great deal more specialised and that other
institutions have taken over some of the important roles that used to
be addressed by the family, for example looking after the elderly have
been taken over by institutions such as hospices.
The main point of Parsons views are that he believes the family still
keeps two main functions, the first function according to Parsons is:
The primary socialisation of children, this is widely believed to be
the most important part of the socialisation process. Parsons says
that everyone must learn the shared norms and values of society for
there to be any form of...