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Sociology: Talcott Parsons' Functionalist View of the Family

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What is the primary function of the family according to Talcott Parsons' functionalist view?

To socialize children into the culture of the society

What is the role of the mother according to Parsons' view of the family?

To provide warmth and emotional support

What is the significance of anticipatory socialization in the family?

It helps to differentiate the roles of the mother and father

What is the role of the father according to Parsons' view of the family?

To provide economic security

What is the primary function of the family in the capitalist society according to Marx?

To produce cheap labor

What is the significance of socialization in the family according to Parsons?

It structures the child's personality according to the particular culture of the society

What is the role of the family in stabilizing adult personalities according to Parsons?

It provides a context for stabilizing adult personalities

What is the significance of the family in maintaining the oppression of generations according to Marx?

It inculcates values of obedience to authority and efficiency

What is the basis of the affiliations that unite humans in a family?

Biologic, emotional and legal

What is the primary factor that influences the attitude towards illegitimate pregnancies?

Cultural norms

What type of family structure is characterized by power and authority being held by women?

Matriarchal

What is the role of early experiences in shaping an individual's behaviour?

They can account for many of the deviant unusual behaviours in adults

What is the primary function of the Economic role of the family?

Allocation of resources and provision of financial assistance

What is the primary function of a family as an economic unit?

To manage resources and provide for its members

What is the term for the process of teaching values and coping mechanisms to family members?

Socialization

Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of a family?

Comprising of only one person

What is the significance of laws and mores in a society?

They are the means by which the desired behaviour is achieved and maintained

What type of family is characterized by a romantic relationship between two people who are not legally married?

Common-law union

What is the term for the process of providing emotional support to family members during times of stress?

Affective and coping

What is the relationship between maternal care and an individual's life?

The kind of maternal care the child receives influences him or her throughout life

What is the definition of a family?

A social unit of some number of people who are linked intimately

What is the primary function of the Physical role of the family?

Providing a safe and comfortable environment

What is the term for the process of giving birth to prolong the race?

Reproduction

What type of family is characterized by a group of people who feel they belong together and define themselves as family, without legal or blood ties?

Family of affinity

What is the primary guiding factor in arranged marriages?

Economic, political, or kinship concerns

In which culture are young couples not allowed to see each other before their marriage?

Indian

What is the term for the practice of having more than one spouse at a time?

Polygamy

Which parenting style is characterized by being 'child-centered', accepting, and responsive, while also setting clear standards and enforcing rules?

Authoritative

What is the primary difference between polygyny and polyandry?

The gender of the spouses

In which type of marriage is love expected to develop after the marriage?

Arranged marriage

What are the four areas of compatibility in marriage?

Finances, work, role expectations, and sex

In which culture are parents presented with several eligible mates and the child selects a partner?

Egyptian

What is a characteristic of children raised by authoritative parents?

Self-reliance and high self-esteem

What is a result of authoritarian parents' behavior?

Children lack social competence and spontaneity

What is a characteristic of permissive parents' behavior?

They exercise less control over their children's behavior

What is a result of indifferent and uninvolved parents' behavior?

Children are hostile, disobedient, and disagreeable

What is a question that functionalist theorists try to answer about family?

What are the functions of the family?

Which type of parents are unresponsive to their children's needs?

Indifferent and uninvolved parents

What is a characteristic of children raised by authoritarian parents?

They lack social competence and spontaneity

What is a characteristic of children raised by permissive parents?

They are impulsive and lack responsibility

What is the primary criterion for both nuclear and extended families?

Financial and other support

What is the term for the extended family structure that includes grandparents, aunts, and cousins?

Blended family

What is the characteristic of the modified family structure referred to as single parent matrifocal?

The woman is at the center of the family or single headed household

What is the term for the extended family structure that includes siblings and their spouses?

Horizontal extended family

What is the primary difference between the nuclear and extended family structures?

The number of generations

What is the primary function of the family in relation to children's personalities, according to Parsons' functionalist view?

To structure the child's personality according to the particular culture of that society

What is the characteristic of the modified family structure that is increasing in occurrence due to greater life expectancy?

Vertical extended family

What is the common characteristic of both nuclear and extended family structures?

Financial and other support

How does the family maintain cheap labor in the Capitalist society, according to Marx?

By maintaining the cheap labor at no cost to the employers

What is the significance of anticipatory socialization in the family, according to Parsons?

It helps children learn their roles and responsibilities in the society

What is the term for the family structure that includes a father, mother, and child or children?

Nuclear family

What is the role of the family in stabilizing adult personalities, according to Parsons?

To provide emotional support to adults during times of stress

What is the relationship between socialization and culture, according to Parsons?

Socialization and culture are intricately linked

What is the primary function of the family in the Capitalist society, according to Marx?

To produce cheap labor to be exploited by the Capitalist

What is the significance of the family in maintaining the oppression of generations, according to Marx?

It maintains the oppression of generations by inculcating values of obedience and efficiency in children

According to Parsons, what is the primary function of the family in relation to the adult's personality?

To stabilize the adult's personality

What is the primary function of the family in terms of stabilization?

Maintenance of law and order and clear separation of generational boundaries

Which of the following family forms is characterized by a romantic relationship between two people who have a legal bond?

Companionate marriages

What is the primary function of the family in terms of physical role?

Providing a safe and comfortable environment necessary for growth and development

Which of the following is a characteristic of families of affinity?

People with no legal or blood relations

What is the primary function of the family in terms of reproduction?

Giving birth to prolong the race

Which of the following is a characteristic of serial monogamy?

Having more than one spouse but not at the same time

What is the primary function of the family in terms of economic role?

Allocating resources and providing financial assistance to the family

Which of the following is a characteristic of a matriarchal family structure?

Power and authority is held by women

What is the primary motivation behind arranged marriages in some cultures?

Economic, political, or kinship concerns

What is the key difference between polygyny and polyandry?

Polygyny allows multiple wives, while polyandry allows multiple husbands

What is the characteristic of authoritative parents that sets them apart from other parenting styles?

They are responsive to their child's needs and set clear standards

In which culture are parents presented with several eligible mates and the child selects a partner?

Egyptian

What is the primary characteristic of monogamous marriages in Western societies?

One husband and one wife at a time

What is the result of authoritarian parenting on children?

They become more anxious and insecure

What is the primary difference between permissive and indifferent parenting styles?

Permissive parents are more involved, while indifferent parents are more uninvolved

What is the key characteristic of arranged marriages in Indian culture?

Young couples are not allowed to see each other before marriage

What is a characteristic of children raised by parents who are unresponsive to their needs?

They are often hostile, disobedient, and have low self-esteem

Which type of parents tend to suppress their children's efforts to challenge authority?

Authoritarian parents

What is a characteristic of authoritative parents' behavior?

They balance their demands for mature behavior with acceptance of their children's needs

What is the primary focus of functionalist theorists in relation to the family?

Analyzing the functions of the family and its relationship to other institutions

What is a characteristic of children raised by permissive parents?

They are often impulsive and lacking in ability to take responsibility

What is the result of authoritarian parents' behavior on their children's development?

It results in lack of social competence, spontaneity, and low self-esteem

What is the main difference between authoritative and authoritarian parents?

Authoritative parents are more responsive to their children's needs, while authoritarian parents are less responsive

What is the result of indifferent and uninvolved parents' behavior on their children's development?

It leads to hostile, disobedient, and disagreeable behavior

Study Notes

Family Structures

  • Nuclear or Simple Family: composed of father, mother, and child(ren), may be married or in a common-law union
  • Extended or Blended Family: includes grandparents, aunts, cousins, and other relatives, provides financial and emotional support
  • Modified Family Structures:
    • Single Parent Matrifocal: woman at the center of the family
    • Grandmother-headed or Children-headed households
    • Visiting Unions
    • Common-Law Unions
    • Alternative Family Forms: serial monogamy, gay and lesbian families, families of affinity

Functions or Roles of the Family

  • Physical: provides a safe environment for growth, rest, and maintenance
  • Economic: allocates resources, provides financial assistance to the family and society
  • Socialization of Members: teaches values, transmits beliefs, and provides feedback and guidance
  • Reproduction: gives birth to prolong the race, recruits and releases family members
  • Stabilization: maintains law and order, clears generational boundaries
  • Affective and Coping: provides emotional support, establishes identity during stress, maintains motivation and morale

Parenting Styles

  • Authoritative: child-centered, accepting, responsive, sets clear standards, encourages open communication
  • Authoritarian: strict, unresponsive, suppresses child's expression of desires
  • Permissive: accepting, responsive, exercises less control, avoids confrontation
  • Indifferent or Uninvolved: unresponsive, provides little guidance, inconsistent discipline

Marriage Forms

  • Companionate Marriages: based on personal choice and love
  • Arranged Marriages: decided by parents, guided by economic, political, or kinship concerns
  • Monogamous Marriages: one husband and one wife at a time
  • Polygamous Marriages:
    • Polygyny: husband has multiple wives
    • Polyandry: wife has multiple husbands
  • Four areas of compatibility in marriage: finances, work, role expectations, and sex

Theorist Views

  • Functionalist: focuses on the functions of the family and its relationship with other institutions in society
  • Talcott Parsons: emphasizes primary socialization of children and stabilization of adult personality
  • Marxist: views the family as producing cheap labor, maintaining oppression, and inculcating values in children

Test your understanding of Talcott Parsons' functionalist perspective on the family, including primary socialization and its role in shaping a child's identity and cultural integration. Explore how socialization and culture are intertwined in this sociology quiz.

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