Asses conflict theories contribution to explaining the role of the family

Topics: Sociology, Marxism, Family Pages: 3 (853 words) Published: November 5, 2013
Asses conflict theories contribution to explaining the role of the family

According to Murdock a family is a made up of two generations, heterosexual couples with dependent offspring. There are different views on what the role of the family is, but the main function of the family is to primary socialise children, stabilize the adult’s personality, gender role socialisation, social control, social status and economic consumption. All of which are very important in ensuring a smoothly run society. Marxists and feminists are both conflict theories, conflict theory suggests that human behavior in social contexts results from conflicts between competing groups. Marxist is a conflict theory because they stress the economic exploitation of the working class (proletariat). Feminist is a conflict theory because they highlight the exploitation of women. They both argue that different groups in society have different levels of power such as the wealthy vs. the poor and males vs. the females, and they use this power to exploit groups with less power. Marxists are very critical of the process of primary socialisation within the nuclear family because they argue that it reproduces and maintains class inequality. They argue that the main function of the family is to distract the working class from the fact that they are exploited by capitalism. This is done in two ways, the first being through the hierarchy way in white nuclear families which are traditionally organized and discourages workers from questioning the hierarchical nature of capitalism and the inequalities in wealth and power that result from it. Also the second way where, parents are encouraged to teach their children that the main route to happiness and status lies in consumption and the acquisition of material possessions, this results in the organization of capitalism and often goes unchallenged by a generation fixated on material possessions. So in conclusion, the Marxists believe that the function of...
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