Premium Essay

Examine the Marxist View of the Family

In: Science

Submitted By jonb0211
Words 906
Pages 4
Examine the Marxist view of the family
Marxists believe that the nuclear family is dominant in capitalist’s society. They see the family as performing essential functions, but negative functions. These functions benefit the minority in power (bourgeoisie) and the economy. The functions disadvantage the working class society
(proletant).

Marxists believe that the family is a unit of consumption. Family members go out to work to earn money. With their wages/salary they purchase goods such as food, clothing and electrical goods, from capitalist manufacturers. The bourgeoisie make a profit from this. Zaretsky (1976) backed this theory up by saying that when a man returns home form work he is the ‘king of his castle’. This helps him to accept his low work status by allowing him to believe he has a high status at home. However, whilst men think that they are the ruler of the home, Morgan (1996) argues that the source of power with in the family is food. Whilst the man may bring home the money, the mother’s typical role is to shop for food, unpack it, decide on a meal and cook it. This shows that the mother is ruling the household as she is determining what the family eats and when they eat. Marxists also believe that the family socialise children to accept capitalism and levels of hierarchy through the use of authority of parents and obedience of children. This will teach children that in working life, someone will always be higher up in the hierarchy than you.

Families promote status inheritance, so Marxists believe. This theory was backed up by Engel (1884) when he said that a family’s economic role is to maintain wealth and that money is kept in the family through inheritance. By saying this, he means that the family inherit money through ancestors. With money, comes power. The more money they inherit, the more power and status that they acquire.…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Aladdin, a Marxist View

...period of the crusades. Aladdin, and many other famous works are gathered in a book full of these stories called, “The Thousand Nights and One Night.” Since this work is so old, and incorporated into such a vast book, no one can pinpoint exactly when and who wrote it. A couple pieces of information are for certain though. As far back as history is documented, the Islamic culture has had an extremely harsh class system. The struggle of classes in Islamic culture was most likely the reason for the writing of Aladdin, and the passing on of its lessons as well. Aladdin is more than just a children’s fairytale, as it is an informative work that depicts the struggle and persecution of the lower classes in Islamic society, especially when view through a Marxist literary lens. The tale begins by introducing a boy named Aladdin as a thief. In literary works, a thief is normally not portrayed as a hero unless the stealing is done for the common good of the proletariat, like Robin Hood (Carpenter, Prichard). In contrast, Aladdin steals due to his lack of economical assets because of his class standing, and thus, for the good of only himself. Only due to the title of the piece, and events that occur a little later in the piece, can we assume that he is in fact the hero of the story. For the introduction of the tale, though, he seems as though a lowly thief, who is an outcast in society, disliked by members of the community. Aladdin does eventually end up in a jail, which is the......

Words: 1321 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Asses the Marxist View That the Main Role of the Family Is to Serve the Interest of Capitalism.

...Asses the Marxist view that the main role of the family is to serve the interest of capitalism. Within sociology there are many different perspectives on the family. Each different perspective sees different things as the main role of the family. Marxists view the family in a very critical way. They believe that the main role of the family is to serve the interest of capitalism. They also believe that the family is seen as an institution which serves to maintain the position of the ruling class. Karl Marx's view on the capitalistic approach shows the unequal nature of the economic system. He shows how the middle and upper class take advantage of the working class and their labour; and that the working class are a tool used to create profit and to keep profit margins at acceptable levels. Marx also argues that the monogamous upper class nuclear family is developed to help solve the problem of the inheritance of private property. The men needed to know who their children were in order to pass on their property on. The family was therefore thought to be designed to control women and protect property. It encourages male power and dominance through the inheritance of property. Marxists argue that the families function is to socialise us into the ruling class ideology. They see the family as an institution which serves and maintains the position of the ruling class. As a result of this they see the family class split into two categories, a small powerful ruling class dominated......

Words: 971 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Critically Examine Functionalist Views of the Role of the Family in Society

...Functionalists see the family as an immensely important sub-system of society. Murdock acclaimed that one of the four essential functions that the family performs in order to meet the needs of society and its members is to 'stabilise satisfaction of the sex drive with the same partner'. As this prevents the ‘social disruption’ caused by promiscuity. However, Marxists would argue that this role serves more as an economic function, as it allows property ownership and wealth to be directly passed onto the legitimate heirs of the father. The second function that Murdock believed that the family performed was to 'reproduce the next generation' as without this function, society would not continue. The third purpose of the family is to socialise the young into society's shared norms and values. And lastly, the fourth function of the family is to meet its member’s economic needs and provide basic amenities such as shelter, clean water and food. According to Parson, there are two basic types of society, one of which is the traditional pre-industrial society, which he felt was more tailored to the extended family. In an extended family a vast number of people would be needed to successfully undertake tasks such as weaving and farming, in order for the family to make a profit and govern themselves. The other type of social group is the modern industrial society, which is more suited for the nuclear family, based on the theory of functional fit. Parson's Functional fit theory suggests...

Words: 1042 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Examine Different Sociological Views on the Family

...All families are unique. A few decades ago, the most common type of family was the mother and father living with their unmarried children. Today, families are vastly different including more single-parent households than ever before, stepfamilies, and adopted families, and grandparents raising their grandchildren, as well as young married couples having to move back in with their parents because they do not have the money to afford their own living arrangements yet. Whatever type of family you have there are different perspectives in which to view it. While the perspectives differ greatly from one another, the family still remains one of the most important social institutions along with health-care, religion, education, mass media, politics, and economy. Family is defined as, 'a basic social unit consisting of parent and their children, considered as a group, whether living together or not.' While every family is unique, there are similarities and differences within each family, no matter what perspective you are using. Each theory shows a different type of assumptions and defines a certain way of understanding a social institution, from all four unique perspectives. Functionalists believe that society is based on a value consensus, into which society socialise its members. They regard society as a system made up of different parts or sub-systems that depend on each other. Functionalists often compare society to a human body – without one organ, the body wouldn’t function,......

Words: 1750 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Assess the Marxist View That the Main Role of the Family Is to Serve the Interests of Capitalism.

...ideas are centred around the injustice created by the division of wealth between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Marxists believe that the middle and upper classes exploit the working class for their labour, and create a false class consciousness that allows the proletariat masses to believe that this is a fair system. This theory also attempts to analyse and explain the family structure, criticising it on the basis that the family is an institution built solely to serve capitalist ideals and the bourgeoisie. There are several factors that support the idea that the family’s main role is to serve capitalism. For example, Marxists believe that the introduction of monogamy to society was caused by the need of men to be sure that their sons are genetically entitled to their assets. This oppression of women was put in place by men who supported capitalism, to allow their children to keep the wealth within their family. Marxists argue that monogamy turned women into ‘a mere instrument to reproduce the next generation’ showing that through the demand of women to create the ideal family, capitalism can thrive on the socialisation of the young into sharing their values and ideals. This shows that the monogamous nuclear family serves as an effective institution to maintain the capitalist values within society. Another factor to support the idea that the family maintains capitalism is the socialisation of young children into agreeing with the values and beliefs of the......

Words: 779 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Marxist View on Education

...Outline and asses the Marxist view of the role of education in society. The Marxist view on the role of education in society is a critical one. Marxists see education as a system of reproducing inequalities between working and middle class. Society needs skilled and unskilled workers, so Marxists see education as responsible for providing these types of workers, in the interest of the economy. However, there are other sociologists like Paul and Wills, David Reynolds and Henry Giroux who had another opinion on the role of education in society. For example, Paul and Wills, who criticized Althusser, believes that the Marxist view is over deterministic and it fails to consider the power that students have to resist against the system. Firstly, Bowles and Gintis believe in the importance of the hidden curriculum, rather than the content of the curriculum, because students learn to accept the norms and the values of the capitalist society. For example, they learn how to be competitive and work hard for rewards. Bowles and Gintis saw a strong correspondence between what students learn in schools and what is required from workers. They found that pupils who get higher grades are those who follow the system, without questioning and the success is not necessarily related to intellectual ability. These qualities are valued in workers as they will accept the authority of their employers, and not question their orders. They also argued that these are the norms and values of the ruling...

Words: 801 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Examine Marxist Views of the Role of the Family.

...Examine Marxist views of the role of the family. (24 marks) Marxist sociologists believe that the family is shaped by the requirements of capitalism and serves to support and maintain this unjust and exploitative system. They believe that the family exists to reproduce labour power, to consume the products of capitalism and to provide emotional support for workers to help them cope with the harsh reality and to accept their inequalities. Engels, a Marxist sociologist, believes that family was only needed when private property emerged and that monogamous families were a means of passing on private property to heirs as they provided proof of paternity. Zaretsky, another Marxist sociologist, supported Engels’ theory but also believed that family helps workers to live with their oppression by giving them a measure of control over their own lives. Functionalism is similar to Marxism as they are both macro-theories which means they look at society as a whole rather than at specifically one aspect. They are also both structural theories which means that they view the family as part of a system and that people are products of this system. However, functionalism differs to Marxism as functionalists believe that the family works harmoniously and that value consensus exists within society whereas Marxists believe that conflicting views are normal. Functionalists also believe that the family benefits everyone in society whilst Marxists believe the family only benefits the......

Words: 1359 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Outline the Marxist View of the Family

...Introduction Outline and evaluate the Marxist view of the family Marxism looks at the methods of control of the ruling class (bourgeoisie) in determining the way society is organized. The family is seen as part of the structure of society and is one of a number of social institutions which help maintain the capitalist system. Marxists state that it is the requirements of this system that has come to shape the family in modern societies. From a Marxist perspective, society revolves around the infrastructure and social superstructure. The superstructure maintains the infrastructure whilst the infrastructure shapes the superstructure. Middle Engels stated that this system is maintained by the socialisation of capitalist social norms and values. Marxists do not see this as benefiting the family at all, only the system, and therefore this helps support their theory that the family exists as a largely negative institution. Zaretsky (1979) looked at the change in the family from a unit of production to a unit of consumption. Like Engels, he noted that socialisation was used to instill values and norms applicable to the system of capitalism. He saw the family as a tool of capitalist society that is vital for its survival, and observed how many features of the modern family supported it, like spending on leisure activities and encouraging aspirations such as owning a house and attaining wealth. Conclusion The family was observed to provide a source of satisfaction that......

Words: 363 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Assess the Marxist View of the Role of

...AS Sociology Sample 20 mark question Assess the Marxist view of the role of education (20 marks) Marxists view society as based on conflict. They believe that the role of all institutions in society can be understood in terms of how they relate to the economic system. They therefore see the education system as an institution which reproduces the class system and provides the economy with a suitable workforce. The labour force needs professional and managerial workers, as well as skilled and unskilled manual workers. According to Marxists, the role of the education system is to provide workers for every part of the economy. Support for this Marxist view comes from Bowls and Gintis who highlight a strong correspondence between what is learnt in schools and what is required in workers for the Capitalist system. For example, they found that in school the pupils who succeed the most are obedient and unquestioning, rather than independent and inquisitive. Bowles and Gintis believe that these qualities are valued in workers as they will accept the authority of their employers, and not question their orders. Bowles and Gintis believe that the content of the curriculum is not very important and that pupils learn most from the ‘hidden curriculum’, that is; the experience of being in school e.g. getting used to doing boring things for the reward of the qualification etc. However Bowles and Gintis have been criticised mainly because they did not actually conduct any......

Words: 563 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Assess Marxist View of Society

...Asses the Marxist View of Society Marxists believe that the ideas that people hold are formed by their position in society, and ideology is therefore seen very clearly as the ideas of particular social groups reflecting their interests. The Marxist view is most associated with the view that there is a dominant ideology in society. This is a set of ideas and beliefs held by the most powerful groups and, in particular, of the ruling class in society. Mannheim (1985 1936) generally associated the dominant ideology with the deliberate obscuring of facts in order to conceal the inequalities of capitalist society and to prevent existing patterns of inequality and the privileged position of the dominant class, and to prevent any social change that might threaten their interests. Althusser (1971) suggested the dominant ideology was spread through a series of ideological state apparatuses – social institutions like the family, the education system, the mass media, the and religion, which justified the power of the dominant social class. Gramsci (1971) further developed the Marxist view of ideology with his development of the concept of hegemony. Hegemony refers to process whereby the ruling class, through the dominant ideology, maintains its power by persuading other social classes, and particularly the working class, to adopt ruling-class ideology as part of their own beliefs and values, and therefore to consent to the rule of the dominant class rather than being forced to obey.......

Words: 517 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Assess the Marxist View That the Main Role of the Family Is to Serve the Interests of Capitalism.

...Assess the marxist view that the main role of the family is to serve the interests of capitalism. In sociology there are many different perspectives on the family and the Marxists view is that the main role of the family is to serve the interests of capitalism. They would argue that they do this through primary socialisation, Althusser says that the family teaches the ideas of capitalism through socialisation as the family is part of the ideological state apparatus, teaching us not to question authority figures and be obedient to them, linking for when the individual work and the bourgeoisie will be the authority that they have to obey. Zaretsky who is also a Marxist had very similar views to Parsons, a functionalist who came up with the warm bath theory about family, but instead Zaretsky says that the family is a safety valve and also an illusion, that you think you’re coming home after a hard day at work to relax with your family but really they’re actually there just to rest you so that you can go straight back out to work again and serve capitalism the next day, all over again. The family also serves the interests of capitalism because families buy the latest consumer goods that are out to be judged on that basis by others, thinking that if they have the new good stuff then they will look better and a higher class of person but these are just seen as false needs and when families are getting tricked into thinking they need to buy these thing they are serving the......

Words: 405 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Examine the Marxist View on the Role of the Family

...Marxists see capitalist society based on unequal conflict between two classes the capitalist class who own the means of production, and the working class who’s labour the capitalist’s exploit. Marxists see the family fulfilling several functions the inheritance of property, ideological functions, a unit of consumption. Marxists argue the key factor determining the shape of social institutions is the mode of production, which is the capitalist class. In ‘primitive communism’ there was no private property and all members of society owned modes of production. There was no family at this stage only what Engels refers to ‘promiscuous horde’ in which there were no restrictions on sexual relationships. However as forces of production developed so did wealth, and a class of men were able to secure ownership of businesses. Engels viewed monogamy as particularly important at this time because of the inheritance of private property. Marxists argue that only with the overthrow of capitalism will women be free from the liberation of patriarchy. The family preforms key ideological functions for capitalism, this includes justifying inequality to maintain capitalist rule. One way that this is achieved is through the socialisation of children that inequality is inevitable. Parental control prepares children for working life where they will have to accept orders form the hierarchies of the capitalist class. Zaretsky 1976 accords the family offers an ideological function by creating an......

Words: 582 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Assess the Marxist Views of the Roles of the Family

...macro theory based on the key concept of social classes; its main theorist is Karl Marx. The main Marxist views are that the class system is important, meaning that the lower classes work for the upper class; they also view that males are more dominant and are depended upon by women within society. These are all factors that contribute to serving the interests of capitalism. Marxists see all social institutions as serving the interests of capitalism - this includes the family, and they say that it serves the interests of capitalism by maintaining and advocating the class inequality and exploitation by the rich through the primary socialisation of children; the family socialises children into accepting this upper class hierarchy and inequality. The parent’s power over their children gets the children used to the idea that someone is always in charge, which prepares them for working, where they will contribute to capitalism by adhering to orders from their employers. If the children continue to socialise with children of the same class, with similar norms and values, the inequality will continue to be thought of as right and they will socialise their children this way too - carrying the inequalities through multiple generations. However, if children are socialising with different classes in secondary socialisation, they may begin to question the inequality and change how they view this, this may therefore lead them to not want to work for the upper class, or in contrast,......

Words: 692 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Asses the Marxist Views on Society

...Assess the Marxist views of society (33 marks) When looking at the Marxists views of society there are three main theorists to look at, Marx, Gramsci and Althusser. All of these theorists focus on how capitalism has been maintained in many societies and how eventually it will be over thrown. Both Gramsci and Althusser’s ideas originate from the works of Karl Marx who, unlike functionalist Emile Durkheim, saw no evolutionary progress of society but a gradual change in which capitalism would increase human misery. Marx suggested that capitalism needed to replaced by ideas such as communism. He looked at historical materialism and suggested that our society is altered by forces of production from the base and the superstructure. He argues that capitalist production forms the economic base and this ultimately shapes our superstructure, like institutions, religion, law and education. However, Althusser criticises this for being too simplistic and suggests a more complex two way causality model. He argues there are three levels; Economic level: comprising all those activities that involve producing something in order to satisfy and need. Political level: comprising all forms of organisation. And the Ideological level: involving the ways that people see themselves and their world. He believes each level can affect each other and impact different choices and beliefs on each level. This approach discourages political action because it is the role of structural forces rather......

Words: 1004 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Marxist View of Society

...Critically examine Marxist perspective on today’s society (33 marks) The Marxist perspective is based on the works of Karl Marx and argues that society is divided into two classes; the upper class, referred to as the bourgeoisie, and the working class, referred to as the proletariat. According to Marxism, the bourgeoisie exploit the proletariat by making them work long hours with little rewards, whilst they receive all the benefits – this is what Marx referred to as capitalism. In this capitalist system, the working class experience a false class consciousness; this is where they are not aware of the fact that they are being exploited by the ruling class. Marx claimed that the only way to resolve this conflict between the two classes is by evolving from a capitalist society into a communist society, where everyone is equal. However, many sociologists disagree with Marxism and Marx’s ideas of the capitalist system, this is due to the fact that in today’s society, there has been a massive growth in a third class – the middle class. This was growth of the middle class was not predicted by Marx, therefore leaving many sociologists to question whether other ideas suggested by Marx and elaborated by Marxism are valid and true to today’s society. Therefore the Marxist perspective cannot be applied to today’s society. Marx claimed that the working class within society would realise that they are being exploited by the ruling class and break free from their false class......

Words: 743 - Pages: 3