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The Family Unit Is A Truly Symmetrical Unit Of Socialisation That Ensures Harmony And Cohesiveness

837 words - 4 pages

George Murdock (1948) believed in a ‘Nuclear Family’. The term is used to define a family consisting of a Mother, Father and a child. Murdock stated that the nuclear family was fully functional for society as it fulfilled four essential functions: The sexual function, the reproductive function, the educational function and the economic function. The sexual function consists of the two parents fulfilling each other’s sexual needs which Murdock believed could strengthen the bond between a couple. The reproductive function consists of the bearing and raising of children with the responsibility of them and simply if reproduction did not occur then societies would not exist. The educational ...view middle of the document...

On top of this there are further claims that women have acquired a ‘triple shift’. This refers to emotion work being added to the dual burden. Emotion work is the management of others and your own emotions. Gershuny found that full time working wives were doing less work with wives with no job were doing 83% of the housework and full time working wives doing 73% of the housework. However although the contribution by men had increased, men and women are still unequal within the family as women still do most of the work.

Another view on the symmetry of family comes from the functionalist Talcott Parsons who believes that the family performs two basic and irreducible functions: primary socialisation and stabilisation of adult personalities. Primary socialisation equips children with basic skills and societies values which is beneficial as too much deviation from social norms and cause issues. Stabilisation of adult personalities consists of providing advice and financial support. This keeps adults relaxed. As the two functions are performed and effect comes to place known as the ‘warm bath effect’. This is when the family has the same comfort as though they were in a warm bath. Parson’s identifies segregated conjugal roles within the family. The husband has the instrumental role and so is expected to provide for the family whereas the wife has the expressive role and so is expected to nurture and care for the children.

The commercialisation of housework has been considered a revolution...

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