For sociologists the family is one of the most important social groups in society.It is formed through bonds of marriage and kinship.In all types of societies the family is seen as the norm but can vary in terms of what actually is meant by the ‘norm’;and what is acceptableaccroiding to the rules of that particular society.But what every family has in common is that it provides the same benefits which are security,socialisation and companisionship.
This essay will highlight the different types of family in our society observe the different sociological perspectives of the family by Functionalist, Marxist and Feminists. Functionalist writer Durkheim believe that society is like the human body,as each part has a specific function which contributes to the running and social order of society. Thus it is a value consensus theory as individuals have little control as society is socialised in this way but collectively the same norms and values are willingly followed by all members of society.
Functionlsims belive that they family is at the heart of society,it is the main primary social institution,so for individuals to be succesfull is secondary social instuation such as work,education,peer group and religious they need a strong family unit. For Functionalists the prefect family unit would be a nuclear family. This consists of two generations, the mother and farther and their child/children. To society this is seen as the role model family or the ‘happy family’. Their contact with the wider kin is limited and is likely to involve communication methods such as social networking, texting and emails.
For this reason some sociologists described the nuclear family as isolated nuclear. (This is because of their lack of involvement with their extended family.) The nuclear family is the ideal perception of a family, and what individuals want their family to represent. (Parsons and Bales 1951). Idenfityied social differences realitauing to sexuality to due natural attributes .he identified that women and men had different roles within the household that contruibted to the family unit. Men were concenred with matrealist effects as most are breadwinners,they are known as taking on instrumental role where are women are less dominmant and take charge of the emotional concerns therefor take on an expressive role. Although it is difficult to recognize if parsons saw men and women as being equal it is obvious that he say that as being different with their gender designated roles which is perfect for the successfulness of the family.