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Marxism and Functionalist Views on the Family

  • Date Submitted: 11/13/2013 10:25 AM
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Marxism and Functionalist views on the family
Marxism is the political and economic theories of Marx and Engels, later developed into the basis of communism, it is a conflict theory. It theorises that there are only two classes in society, proletariat and bourgeoisie, and that the family serve as a tool of the bourgeoisie. Functionalists have a traditional view of the family they believe that if families would go back to the 1950s all problems in society would be solved, functionalism is a consensus theory, both are top down theories.
Some of the basic views of Marxism are that the bourgeoisie, the ruling class, use agents of social control such as the family to pass their norms and values on to the proletariat so they conform and be exploited. Marxists view that the working class is oppressed into selling labour to the bourgeoisies for small amounts of money, while the goods they make are sold for extortion amounts. They believe this is because they are socialised from an early age to accept a leader or boss, e.g. parent or teacher. To support their views they believe that the family has three major functions: inheritance of property, ideology, and a unit of consumption.   Inheritance of property keeps the bourgeoisie stay as the ruling class as it allows then to pass down the means of production, land, factories, machines to generation to generation stopping any else from having it. They also believe in a nuclear family typically males will inherit from their parents; Engels called the privatised nuclear family the “world historical defeat of women”. Marxists argue that only with overthrowing capitalism and liberation of private ownership will remove patriarchal nuclear family.
Another function of the family suggest by Marxism is the ideological function. They believe this is a key function as it allows for capitalism to spread its ideas and beliefs of inequality between the classes and how this is unchangeable so the proletariat must just accept it. It is said...

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