UPSC MAINS SOCIOLOGY SYALLABUS – Paper 1 – Chapter 9 – Systems of Kinship
(a) Family, household, marriage.
(b) Types and forms of family.
(c) Lineage and descent
(d) Patriarchy and sexual division of labour
(e) Contemporary trends.
- According to the functionalists like George Peter Murdock, in his ‘Social structure, 1949’, family is viewed as a universal social institution as it existed in all kinds of societies from hunting gathering to industrial societies.
- He defines family as ‘The family is a social group characterized by common residence, economic co-operation and reproduction.
- It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually co-habiting adults’.
- Family is seen as a universal social institution and an inevitable part of society.
FUNCTIONS OF FAMILY
- George Murdock enlists four universal functions served by the family in his ‘Social Structure, 1949’, these functions serve to resolve four major problems of society –
a. Regulate sexual relations
b. Controls reproduction
c. Account for economic survival
d. Socializes children
- Ogburn and Nimcoff state that basic functions of family are – affectional, economic, recreation, protective and educational.
DYSFUNCTIONS OF FAMILY
- Morgan says in his ‘Social Theory and the Family, 1975’ states that ‘Family is depicted as remarkably harmonious social institution’. In reality it may not be so.
- Marxian says it breeds notions of conformity. According to David Cooper in his ‘Death of Family, 1972’ – ‘It is an ideological conditioning device in an exploitative society’.
- Feminists like Margret Benston say that family perpetuates unpaid labor.
- It also legitimizes violence.
- According to Murray Strauss – ‘Marriage license is a hitting license’. Family also legitimizes sexual abuse and violence.
CHANGING FUNCTIONS OF FAMILY
- Functions of family change with changing times due to various factors like nuclearization, industrialization, rise of bureaucratic institutions and so on.
I. Ronald Fletcher also calls family as multifunctional social institution, but whose secondary functions are today performed by the bureaucratic organizations.
II. With rise of modern welfare state, social control is now lying in hands of law and order maintaining institutions.
III. Family, today, no longer performs the production function and it no longer plays the role of placing an individual economically in society. Modern division of labor has facilitated numerous avenues of employment.
IV. Concept of old age homes is also leading to the transfer of old age care function to institutions.