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Theories Of The Family Essay

1326 words - 6 pages

Individuals in a Diverse Society
February 20, 2013
Theories of the Family
Structural Functionalism
-Functionalist believe that everything and everybody in society has a role (a function) that makes society to run smoothly
-It is a macro theory
It focuses on institutions and structures existing in the society as whole
Key Terms
Function: The different parts of each society contributes positively to the operation or functioning of the system as a whole
Institutions: Society is a system of social structures/institutions (economic, legal, education)
-Each social systems has needs which are met by the structures and they are interconnected
-Individuals and groups are constrained by ...view middle of the document...

e. everywhere) in family relationships and society
3) Conflict is endemic (widespread), the goal is to manage conflict so it does nor escalate to damaging the group
4) There is a scarcity of resources, our conflict arises because there is not enough resources for all to have what they want
Feminist Theory
-Developed out of conflict theory through the realization that it was more than money that created inequities
-Believes that the family oppresses women and keeps men in power
-Believed that society it patriarchal (men dominate)
-Feminist Theory is a macro theory that challenged social structures
-3 types of feminism- liberal, radical, social-aim to challenge patriarchy in different ways
Liberal Feminists
-Believed that the family is sexist because it supports mainstream culture which is also sexist. They advocate change through legislation education
-Believe in the principle of true equality-women are entitled to the same rights as men because both are human beings
Radical Feminist
-Believe that patriarchy is central source of division in society
-Essentially, men exploit women as husbands, partners, sons, brothers
-This exploitative relationship is reflected in the family in which women do all the work for the benefit of men
-The notion of family excludes those who pursue different lifestyles
-Men will always exploit women- example; domestic violence, wage distinction, positions of power and authority
Socialist Feminist
-Believes that women’s and men’s interest can be achieved together
-Views of capitalism and economic structure as forces which shape oppression of women
-Recognize various oppressions of women, but believes in common oppression as women
-Changes structures of society to eliminate gender based division and compensation
-Women’s oppressions more than gender (gender is a social construct) it also includes races, class and economic status
-Includes all people who are oppressed by capitalism
-Does not want to separate feminism from the rest of society
Example-stay at home dad
Systems Theory
-The sociological theory that attempts to explain how groups of individuals interact as a system- a set of different parts that work together and influence one another in a relatively stable way over time
-Systems is a micro theory
-It is based on the principle of feedback
Feedbacks implies give and take
The individuals within the family system influence one another in a reciprocal way
-In our everyday lives our families influence our behaviours
E.g. older sibling/younger sibling
-Family members even influence the behaviours once they have left the family system (divorce, death)
Family Subsystems
-the larger family system contains subsystems

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