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Family Insitution Essay

1809 words - 8 pages

For my final assignment I have decided to discuss the Social Institutions of the Family. The family has three main purposes: to provide for the rearing of children, to provide a sense of identity or belonging among its members, and to transmit culture between generations. With these basic principals I will discuss how Functionalism, Conflict, and Interactionism apply in this sociological institution and how they are similar and differ from one another. Next I will talk about how the three theories affect the views of the individual who is part of the institution. I will also converse about how each theory affects the approach to social change within the selected institution. Lastly I will ...view middle of the document...

Extended families can be a big help to the nuclear family members when in need or when support is wanted. (Bernard, 1972). The family is “one of the most important aspects of what happens to us over the life course is our relationship with our family. Everyone has a family of origin, and everyone creates a family, even if it is a family of one. Types of families vary in form and structure, and have significant implications for our lives” (Rothausen, 1999).
To the functionalist, the theory understands the family to society as absolutely necessary and is the backbone of society’s functioning as a whole. “From a functionalist point of view, the family may change form and be quite diverse in its composition, but families have always existed and will continue to exist because what they do is so important. Children are born to people who will love and care for them, and are socialized about how to care for themselves and be a productive member of society. Families are the link to most of the other institutions” (Vissing,2011) Functionalists see the nuclear family as the ideal family type in a modern society. Their interpretation of a nuclear family is made up of the husband being the main income for the family, the wife as the dependent who cares for the house and children, and the children who learn from their parents. I understand the functionalism theory as the essential for social survival; the family’s main purpose is to perform the important functions of reproduction and socializing of children so that they fit into society. Without the family there would be no society or order. Functionalists believe that society is held together by social agreements and structures, in each society members have agreed of what the rules they must live by and what their expectations are of one another. With these agreements each society will work together to succeed for what is best. Functionalism does not acknowledge the negative functions that can happen to a family such as divorce. Functionalism sees families as staying together and does not encourage family members to an active role in altering their social environment. Even changes to bad situations are unwanted because the several parts of society will compensate naturally for any problems that may arise.
The conflict theory describes social conflict between groups as the potential for disparity that could happen because of gender, religious, political, racial, and economic reasons. Conflict formulas usually have unequal groups that have conflicting standards and philosophies with another. This allows them to compete with one another which generate conflicts. In a conflict perspective critics point out the negative views of society. The family is seen to society as a social institution that provides indefinite emotional, social, economic and health support for each other. The weakening of emotional and physical support by the family would simultaneously affect the character development of children and...

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