Using Sociological theories and explanations examine the view that the nuclear family is the ‘the best way to raise children’
The sociologists who believe that the nuclear family is the best way to raise children are the functionalists and the New Right. This essay will talk and examine the view that the nuclear family is ‘the best way to raise children’. Functionalists believe that the nuclear family is the best way to raise children because adults have complementary and natural roles. The male having the instrumental role being the breadwinner and the female having the expressive role she is the carer. This clearly defines the male and the female helping the children to understand more. Functionalists also believe that children are provided with a male and female role and socialisation from two parents. They argue that children are raised in a stable relationship such as marriage.
Two key writers from this view on the family are George Murdock and Talcott Parsons. In 1949 Murdock studied 250 societies from primitive style to more modern industrial ones. He argued that all families fulfil four vital functions. These are sexual; married adults enjoy a healthy sex life which prevents them having affairs and ensures children are raised by their natural parents. Reproductive; making the next generation. Economic; by this Murdock means providing food and shelter. Ideally the man will go out to work and the woman will look after the house and the children. Educational; by this Murdock means socialisation (the process of learning the norms and values of society). Parsons focuses on the American family. He argues that the family have two key functions; Primary Socialisation and Stabilisation of the adult personality. Parsons argues that the family is a warm, friendly place where the adults can relax. He calls this the warm bath theory. All the stresses can be washed away.
The New Right agree with functionalist’s...