Homework - Page 45
a) The term consensus refers to a group of people coming to a general agreement.
b) Parsons believes that the nuclear family performs ‘two essential functions’ for its members and for society as a whole. One if these functions are to socialise children, teaching them the norms and values of society and their cultural values and discipline. This can also be referred to as primary socialisation. Parsons also argued that the nuclear family play the emotional role in that they provide love, warmth, security and support acting as a stress reliever for its members. This is where the male (father) will carry out the instrumental role, whereas the female (mother) will carry out the expressive role.
c) First of all the family play an essential role in that they are the primary agent of socialisation where they teach children the norms and values of society. This enables them to conform to the rules of society, benefiting it as a whole. Secondly the family perform the re-production role, as the family reproduce they are making new members of society too and also contribute to the continuity of the family structure. Lastly the family play the emotional support role where they provide emotional care for the family. This relates to the ‘warm bath theory’ as the family act as a great stress reliever.
d) Functionalists believe that society is based on value consensus; this benefits society as it enables members to cooperate to meet society’s needs and achieve shared goals. They believe that different institutions of society depend on each other to perform functions that are prior to meet society’s essential needs. Regarding the family Functionalists argue that the family have essential functions to play as they are a basic building block of society.
According to Murdock (1949), he argues that the family perform four important functions to meet the needs of society and its members. One of these functions is the ‘stable satisfaction of...