Functionalism and the Family Essay

Submitted By oliverandmary
Words: 412
Pages: 2

Functionalism and the Family
1. Once the family were a unit of production that was often based upon family based production particularly in pre-industrial times and the family was often self-sufficient with production and distribution carried out by custom and tradition. High mortality rates and low means of production meant life was short and hard in these times especially in rural areas where family was often centred with male children being a priority for survival as strength was typically trait linked to men. Goods were not only produced for consumption but for trade in the market as well. In order to sustain this style of economy, high fertility rates were absolutely necessary to maintain the supply of labour demand without little care for literacy other than basic understanding of the bible.
However during the post industrial age, the family economy was dramatically reshuffled with the family moving away from the status as a unit of production to a unit of consumption due to the process of industrialisation. Farming no longer required the same total of people as labour and children moved from a position of as assets to that of liability. The family economy was consumed by that of the Capitalist market which replaced the trend of self-sufficiency to consume and trade their goods at market to become wage labour in new industries such as factories, mills and mines. The wage labour system resulted in the wages saved to be used to consume and purchase and this was the force that had…