Sociology of the Family

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The best definition of a family is the affiliation of people by consanguinity, co-residence or attraction. The presence of parents has critical roles in the society both directly and indirectly. One of the fundamental purposes of a family in the society is that it is the primary institution for the socialization of children (Giddens et al., 2000). The family also provides an environment where people get to comprehend religion, values, culture and the society and use these concepts to coping with the outside world (Giddens et al., 2000). The family also gives people identity in the society. The family is also responsible for maintaining the order of the society by imparting good values to children that keep them away from criminal activities. The paper reviews three articles to outline the sociology of family and develop a theoretic perspective of the sociology of marriage.

Review of articles

The bonds between the family members provide a strong social background in the community. However, the concept of the constitution of marriage is controversial in the community. The articles identify that the structure of the families that the expectations and beliefs of the structure of a marriage that were common many years ago are not nearly as common presently. Most communities considered the concept is describing a family as a unit consisting of a father mother and children (Rindfleisch, Burroughs& Denton, 1997). However, the combinations of parents and the norms and beliefs of the society regarding family are abruptly changing. As such different forms of families are emerging all over the world. The articles reveal that the society expects the family to have the both the male and the female figure in the unit as they impart different yet crucial values to the children. As such most stereotypes consider the family as incomplete without the presence of both the father and mother figure (Allen, 1979).

According to the articles, the universal concept of the structure of a family was thrown off balance by the emergence of the LGBT. The presence of the LGBT community undermines the conventional idea of a family constituting a father (male) a mother (female) and children (any sex) (Allen, 1979). The society is currently adjusting to the concept; however, most stereotypes believe that the introduction of this community will disrupt the sacred unit that is marriage. The articles outline that among the common beliefs of these stereotypes is the most referred is the unnatural constitution of such a union (Rindfleisch, Burroughs& Denton, 1997). The stereotypes also believe that gender roles are essential to a family. According to the journals the stereotypes argue that the LGBT community is unnatural. The families from these community input perverse concepts to the children that will lead to the end of the human species (McLanahan& Percheski, 2008).

The articles disclose that the families are a fundamental unit in the community particularly in the maintenance and regulation of discipline in the society. They indicate that the society believes that it is imperative to have a complete family unit constituting the father, mother, and the offspring. As such they discriminate against other forms of families such as single parenthood or same-sex parenting in families. The critics of these forms of families argue using scientific facts stating that these types of marriages produce psychologically deficient children in the society (McLanahan& Percheski, 2008). The critics say that the father is responsible for maintaining discipline in the family and carrying out the hard chores in the family whereas the mother provides the tender touch and emotional support in the family. The articles indicate that the concepts, beliefs, customs and expectations of the society conflict especially due the cultural diversity that leads to the disruption of the current practices. It explains the current shift in the world regarding families.

Functionalism in families

The functionalist perspective dictates that the social units perform several fundamental functions to help sustain social strength and otherwise keep a society working. Therefore, it is crucial to regard the role of the family in the society when discussing the functionalist perspective of sociology in families. As stated earlier the family is the fundamental unit for socializing children. It is important to appreciate that the society could not exist without appropriate socialization of the young. The entire family plays an essential role in imputing critical values to the youth in the community (Giddens et al., 2000). The family also offers the most emotional support to people in the community. As such it ensures the continuity of the society by providing all the essentials to the succeeding age and so on and so forth. The family also controls the sexual activity and reproduction ensuring that the community can sustain its population (Giddens et al., 2000). As such the parents can afford the children all the emotional and practical care, they require. The family also provides the members with the satisfaction of social identity since the children get born and incorporated into the parent’s social standing in the society. These roles of the family provide a steadfast argument on the functionalism concept. The functionalism theory also identifies that the abrupt modifications in the family structure and operations threaten the solidity of the family as well as that of the society (Giddens et al., 2000).


The current trends in the world are creating rapid changes to the structure and processes of the families that are consequently impacting the society. There are very many concepts of the family thanks to increasing interactions between people with diverse cultural backgrounds. Therefore, the world needs to create a common ground that can cushion these changes hence develop stable families. Without a doubt, the stability of the families is fundamental for the upkeep of the society.


Rindfleisch, A., Burroughs, E., & Denton, F. (1997). Family structure, materialism, and compulsive consumption. Journal of consumer research, 312-325.

Allen, W. R. (1979). Class, culture, and family organization: The effects of class and race on family structure in urban America. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 301-313.

McLanahan, S., & Percheski, C. (2008). Family structure and the reproduction of inequalities. Annu. Rev. Sociol, 34, 257-276.

Giddens, A., Duneier, M., Appelbaum, R. P., & Carr, D. (2000). Introduction to sociology. New York: WW Norton.

Carolyn Morgan is the author of this paper. A senior editor at MeldaResearch.Com in college research paper services. If you need a similar paper you can place your order from best medical essay service.

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