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Examine the Marxist View of the Family

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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

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.…...

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