Marxist Understanding of Family

Topics: Marxism, Capitalism, Karl Marx Pages: 3 (1113 words) Published: May 14, 2013
Examine the Marxist contribution to our understanding of the family The Marxists society view family through the eyes of capitalism and that the proletariat (the working class) solely benefit the bourgeoisie (the ruling class), whereas a functionalists perspective of family is that they should benefit both society and individual members of the family, however, Marists argue family is simply an instrument of the ruling class. Marxists believe family in today’s society perform key ideological functions for capitalism, a set of ideas/beliefs that justify inequality, a system that persuades the public into accepting this is a fair and natural way to act in society. Capitalism is an economic system in which private ownership controls all of the means of production for profit and exploits the proletariat class, selling their products for more money than paying the working class for their labour. Benefits that the family provide through capitalism include the inheritance of private property, socialisation into acceptance of inequality and a source of profits – all of these which do not benefit the members of the family. Capitalism leads to family playing a major role in profits as they are the market for the sale of consumer goods. Family fulfil this role by persuading families to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ by consuming the latest products, ‘pester power’ which persuades parents to spend more on their children, especially if their child do not have the latest gadgets, clothes etc. and being mocked because of this. The capitalist system requires nuclear monogamous relationships as it is needed for private ownership, as said by Friedrich Engels. A sociologist, Friedrich Engels, alongside Karl Marx, studied family from a Marxist perspective and traced the changes of family to the mode of production. Engels explains that society has not always been exploited by the bourgeoisie, in fact, the means of production were collectively owned. Engels theorized that as society...
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