Sociological approaches to the family You need to state and explain the various theoretical approaches to the family; such as the functionalist, feminist and New Right perspectives. Theory The importance of the family Functionalist The function of the family is to socialise children, which in turn benefits both children and society. Feminist The purpose of the family is to reinforce the dominant position of men within a patriarchal society. New Right The role of the family is to teach children the difference between right and wrong, and to provide a sense of morality more widely known as ‘family values.’ Divorce and the decline of the family Divorce has become more commonplace since the 1970s. This is due to several factors; 1. Feminism has altered the perception of what a wife might expect from a marriage 2. Women have become more financially independent of their husbands 3. Religious values have become less important 4. The process of gaining a divorce has been made easier
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