Family Functionalism

896 Words4 Pages
Introduction Over the years, social scientists have found it hard to define the complex concept of family. Trost, (1990) stated that this problem of finding a universal definition does not only affect family researchers but also the general public. She showed that for some, family is made up of only closest family members, the nuclear family, while for others family meant various other kin, pets as well as friends. For the purpose of this essay an inclusive definition will be used because inclusive definitions are so broad as such everyone’s opinion of what family is will be included. Holstein & Gubrium, (1995) provide inclusive definition that describes family as each individual’s interpretation of who their kin are. In the functionalist view the family is an important institution as it is the ‘basic building block’ of society which performs crucial functions of socialising the young and meeting the emotional needs of its members. Stable families underpin social order and economic stability. This essay will be discussing the impact of economic change on families using functionalism in Ireland.…show more content…
Family is considered not to exist in a vacuum but rather in interaction with other institutions in society namely economic, political and religious institutions. This supports the functionalist perspective which is said to consist of different social institutions and the way they relate to each other. Until the 1960s, Ireland was a predominantly rural, agricultural country but it has experienced huge development in the three past decades. Changes which have affected the family in better developed industrial countries are affecting Ireland. The shifts in social and economic conditions accompanied by changes in values and policies have raised fundamental questions about the nature, role as well as limits of the family (Kennedy,
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