The functionalist’s view of the nuclear family is that `two generations live together which would be the mother and father and have biological children. The family consists of a mother, father and children all living together. The father would traditionally go out to work and earn money to fend for the family performing his instrumental role however the mother would stay at home, looking after and cleaning the house and caring for the family this is performing the expressive role.
Functionalist believe that the family plays a major role in achieving social goals. The family is seen as meeting the needs of individuals for emotional satisfaction, social support, identity and security. The nuclear family benefits all its members because within nuclear family the man goes out to work and earns money to support the family which is benefitting him and the family because as he goes out to work he gets away from his family life meaning he keeps his work and family separate which benefits him because then he gets to socialise whilst a work however when he comes home he knows he is coming home to a relaxed household greeted by his family meaning he can relieve his stress and relax a home then repeat this the next day, this is called the ‘warm bath’ theory. With the father going out to work it then benefits the mother and the children because they are being financial supported meaning they have a nice house and the luxuries in life they believe they wouldn’t have if their mother and father weren’t together; that is what functionalists believe. The mother stays at home and performs the traditional housewife role she also expresses her expressive leader role by being the comforter and socialising with her children, this benefits all the family because it means the father gets to come into his dinner cooked for him and a clean house also the children know they have someone to turn to if their feeling upset etc. However there is sociologists which would disagree with this view for example a feminist does not believe the nuclear family benefits the family and society as a whole.
Feminists criticise the nuclear family due to the patriarchy of the family this is because functionalists believes the man is seen as the leader of the family and he controls the family meaning the structure of the family is formed by the father being at the top, followed by the mother then the children would be at the bottom. This is