Chapter Two Marriage & Family Overview(1) - Chapter Two...

This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 3 pages.

Chapter Two OverviewTheories are based on research, and a theory is a set of statements that explains why a particularphenomenon occurs. There are eight influential theories about marriages and families. Four aremacro-level theories(structural-functionalism, conflict, feminist, and ecological) and four aremicro-leveltheories(symbolic interaction, social exchange, family development, and family systems). Thestructural-functionalistapproach examines the relationship between the family and the larger society aswell as the internal relationships among family members. Anything that interferes with the fulfillment ofsocial functions is seen as dysfunctional. Functions can be either manifest (recognized or intended) orlatent (not recognized or intended). This approach has been criticized for its overemphasis on order andstability that ignores change and conflict.Conflict theorists, on the other hand, see conflict as natural and inevitable, rather than bad ordysfunctional. On a macro level, conflict theorists regard society as a system of inequality in whichgroups compete for scarce goods and services. Conflict theorists have been criticized for overemphasizingconflict and coercion at the expense of studying order, stability, and consensus. Conflict theories provideda springboard for feminist theories (the fourth of the macro theories discussed in this section). Feministtheoriesinclude a wide range of theories, including liberal feminism, radical feminism, and globalfeminism. They focus on the ways in which socially constructed categories of sex and gender roles shaperelations between men and women in such institutions as the family, politics, and the economy. Criticismsof feminism include the fact that feminist analysis by an “old girl network” hasn’t always welcomedconflicting points of view from minority groups, and it almost exclusively uses qualitative (rather thanquantitative) methods. Theecological perspectivestudies the relationship and adaptation of humangroups, such as families, to their physical environment.Ecological theory proposes that individuals’ rolesand environmental settings are highly interrelated.

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

End of preview. Want to read all 3 pages?

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Term
Fall
Professor
N/A
Tags
Sociology, symbolic interaction, Family systems theory

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture