Functionalist view on family and why nuclear family is no longer the norm.
Functionalists believe that every big institution in society contributes to the smooth running of the society. Functionalists mainly focus on the nuclear family as they see it as a building block of society, and say it is the heart of society. A functionalist anthropologist called George P Murdock (1949) claimed that the nuclear family is so useful to society that it is universal. However, functionalists have ignored the conflict and abuse in the family and also ignored the gender inequality within the nuclear families which are key things that haven’t been looked at by functionalists and have ignored the dark side of the family.
A nuclear family is made up of two generations, the parents (father and mother) and their children living all together. Functionalists consider the nuclear family as universal, according to the research of functionalist anthropologist George Peter Murdock. GP Murdock researched 250 societies around the world and stated that a nuclear family is the original and universal family type. However, since society is continually modernizing, the nuclear family is no longer the norm. There are many other family diversities growing in modern society. GP Murdock’s research is also outdated, as in that time there weren’t many other types of families but nuclear families, but in today’s modern society, the nuclear family is no longer considered to be the norm. GP Murdock argued that the nuclear family have four essential functions without which the society would be able to continue, they are the reproductive, sexual, economic and educational functions. This is why, in Murdock’s point of view, the nuclear family is universal and important to the society as it keeps it in order, as gay/lesbian or single-parent families are unable to provide the four essential functions which makes them unbalanced and won’t make society stable enough.
In a Marxist point of view, they see the...