Sociology Study Guide

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Sociology Study Guide


1.) Functionalists and New Rights view the family as POSITIVE.
They believe that the family: offers a warm bath to sink into benefits children and parents.
Functionalists believe: the nuclear family is private and self-contained w/ little contact with community
(Parsons) functions of the family: reproduction, economic maintenance
(Fletcher) family functions: teaches family members the roles they’ll play.
CRITICISMS: ‘rose colored spectacle view’ which ignores the dysfunctions in life
New Rights believe:
(Berger) the family promotes decency and manners
(Michael Howard) “the traditional 2 parent family is best”
CRITICISMS: sees women as exploited in the traditional family set up.

2.) Feminists and Marxists view the family as NEGATIVE.
Edmund Leach “over loaded electrical circuit waiting to blow a fuse” source of tension and conflict violent institution
Feminists believe that the family: exploits women and children marxist feminists: women are seen as cheap and are paid less socialist feminists: fight capitalism liberal feminists: neither men/ women benefit from gender inequalities

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 radical feminists: Patriarchy is source of all discontents in society black feminists: feel as if ethnic differences are ignored
CRITICISMS: different varieties of feminism criticize each other, thus weakening their overall position Marxists: advocate the overthrow of capitalism being necessary to free men/women from slavery.
(Zaretsky) argues the family is the main prop to the capitalist system.
(New Rights) argue that a full time mother is essential for the child
CRITICISMS: put economic above all else and ignore the good aspects of family

3.) Cereal packet- another term for nuclear family : parents and kids living in harmony
4.)INTERPRETIVISTS focus on SMALL SCALE interactions between family members .
(Finch & Mason) used methodological pluralism to discover that western families are becoming smaller and less traditional.
CRITICISMS: studies are unrepresentative, too subjective
5.) POST MODERNISM: argues that there is diversification, variation and instability within the family. (Beck) 5 turning points in family: 1. increased life expectancy, restructured housework, birth control, rising divorce, equal educational opportunities.
6.) Increasing divorce rate: the Divorce reform act made it easier to divorce somebody less stigma changing roles of women (women now were in higher levels of education/ less dependent on others financially) people live longer secularisation 7.) factors likely to cause divorce: lower the age of marriage, the higher chance of divorce