The Dark Side of Family Life
Whilst many of the functionalist theorists point out the positive aspects of the family, some theorists believe that the family is destructive. The Marxist Perspective
Marxists argue that it is the specific requirements of the capitalist mode of production that have shaped the development of the family in Western industrial societies. Marxists see the family as a means for: Reproducing ‘labour power’ – reproducing future generations of workers. Consuming – consuming the products of capitalism
Providing emotional support – Providing emotional support to workers, so helping them cope with the harsh realities of capitalism. Socialising – Socialising children into accepting the inequalities of the capitalist society. Feminist writers link the idea that the family operates to maintain the capitalist system, with the idea that the family is the major obstacle to women’s freedom, and have therefore developed on the Marxists approach. Feminists start from the view that most societies are based on patriarchy or male domination. Marxists Feminists see patriarchy as resulting from class inequalities in capitalist societies. Radical Feminists see it as built into the structure of society. Both see the family as one of the main sites in which men oppress women. Marxists Feminists
Marxists feminists focus on the oppression of women, rooted in the family and linked to capitalism. For Marxists-feminists writers the family meets the needs of capitalism by socialising children into ruling class norms and values (the ruling class ideology), leading to a submissive and obedient workforce, with false consciousness and stability for capitalism. Women in the family serve these interests in a number of ways: * As mothers within families, women bear children who if male will become the next generation of capitalist ‘wage slaves’. * As wives, women serve and service their husbands by doing the housework, cooking meals and satisfying their sexual...
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