For my main perspective I have chosen Functionalism. Why?? Intersting to know and understand what builds society. Haralambos and Holborn (2004) gives a brief description of the subjects history. The most influencial of early sociologists was french female Emile Durkheim. The theory was officially founded by talcott Parson in the 20th century. From the 1960's onwards its popularity decreased largely due to competing perspectives and fashion. Functionalists analyse and cocclude the effect an institution has on society as a whole unit.
Giddens (2001) states society is a complicated unit consisting of different communities working with each other to produce quality and solidarity. Macionis and Plummer (2005) states that for functionalists modern societies must be baxsed on agreement and that the modern societies have created equal opportunity. Haralambos and Holborn (2004) suggest that in order to analyse any part of society such as the family it simkply has to be viewed in relation to society as a whole. Interestingly Organic analogy used often by functionalists such as Comte and Durkheim involves the idea of comparing the working society to that of a living organism.
Moral Consensus is where many people hold the same values and this is known to give rise to strength and stability in societ and is strongly emphasized by functionalism. Strenght and stability is thought to be the norm of society (Giddens (2001)). Giddens (2001) states that functionalism is currently in the firing line suggesting that immoderate stress factors have lead to social cohesion at the expense of those producing conflict. Haralambos and Holborn (1995) explains from a functionalist`s perspective society makes a system. Gender perspectives inspired by functionalist indigate that gender difference create social order and integration. Functionalist`s state that this gender difference occours because it is natural. Both men and women perform tasks in which they are most comfortable and capable for.
George Murdoch has backed this view. His believes were that a stable, supportive family is key to succesful socilization and also that women should comfort men bread winning as it is a stressful job. In 1953 John Bowlby argued the mother is most important to the proper development of a healthy child. If the mother is absent the child may develop maternakl depriviation a mental illness.
His theory has been used to label working mothers as neglectful to their children (Giddens 2001)). Giddens (2001) claims the tasks performed by families plays a superior role in developing social order. Haralambos and Holborn (1995) states the basic function of the family is the effect it is known to have on society as a whole and other parts of the system. Giddens (2001) tells us that Parsons states the families two main effects on society are primary socialization and personality stabilization. He claims the nuclear family is best suited to handling the demands of industrial society. Men work outside the home while women care for the children and home.
To date Parson`s view is seen as outdated. Feminsim Feminism deals with womens position in society. There are three types of feminists (1) Liberal feminist (2) Radical feminist and (3) Black feminist. Liberal Feminism Haralambos and Holborn (2004) states liberal feminism is the most popular type. Giddens (2001) states that liberal feminist try to discover reason for gender difference. They like to focus on sexism and discrimination against women in the work place and media. In the past they have found acts such as: Equal Pays Act emphasizing their protection and opportunity creation for women.
Haralambos and Holborn (2004) explain their aim is for gradual change of the western worlds attitudes towards women. Their message is to create equal opportunity by bringing in legislation. As attitudes change the movement is becoming stronger. Radical Feminism Haralambos and Holborn (2004) explain radical feminists see womens labour in the home as one of the main ways women are exploited. Radical feminist Shulamith Firestone (1971) claims men even control womens role in reproduction and child rearing. She also hints that in order for discrimination against women to be done away with the family must be abolished (Giddens (2001).
Black Feminists Giddens (2001) states that black feminists argue the same concepts that white women experience do not necessarily be experienced by black females. This fact has lead to the emergence of black feminists. Black feminist Bell Hook argued jsut because black women are more assertive which is ment to up lift the race not womens self esteem does not necessarily mean an outspoken black woman might not feel like nothing because her skin is not white or her hair is not the right texture. White feminists do not see this.
Hooks, quoted ind Giddens (2001) states “with a yardstick that was designed based on values emerging from white experience”(p. 117). This basically sums up the black feminist approach suggesting white feminist often forget the factors black women experience in life. I have found the black feminist arguements particularly interesting and I feel my next poece of information included is vital. Ohio 1852, white males argued women were not suited to manual labour because they are weak and therefore should have no rights. Sojourner Truth argued this view did not stop females from doing manual labour in the past (Haralambos and Holborn (2004)).
I feel strongly this past argument strongly undermines womens potential and ability. My reason for this is because if these men were alive today they would see what women have achieved on their own. For example Indian world championship boxer Mary Yum would surely prove their thoughts and believes incorrect. I have found feminism a very interesting topic. Conflict Haralambos and Holborn (2004) distinguish the difference between conflict theorist and functionalsits. Functionalsits state the importance of value consensus and see conflict as upsetting the system. As society evolves conflict dissappears.