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Impact of Sociological Theories on the Family (Coursework Sample)

This is a sociology paper. In the paper, I explored the impact that sociological theories have on the family. source..
Impact of Sociological Theories on the Family Name: School Affiliation: Impact of Sociological Theories on the Family Introduction Sociology is that field of study that engages itself in the study of social life, social changes and the resultant effects of these changes. It is the mandate of this field of knowledge to investigate how the various experiences of life are entwined within the structural framework of society. In essence, sociology studies human behaviors and interactions. Sociological theories provide a way by which these behaviors and interactions can be defined and explained (Andersen, & Taylor, 2007). This paper will attempt to discuss the impact that these sociological theories have on the family unit. The family unit is a social institution comprising domestic people having a comm0on origin and living together. The membership to this social unit arises from relations forged through marriage and blood. There are two types of families; the nuclear family headed by the father and the extended family whose head is the great grandfather (Andersen, & Taylor, 2007). There are other family types of families in existence but for the purpose of this paper we will confine our discussion to these two family types. Sociological theories are complex theoretical frameworks utilized by sociologists to explain and evaluate ways in which social structures, processes and actions function within the society. These theories are important in understanding the operations within the society. The theories are important in explaining the various relations within the society. Such an understanding is critical for the formulation of solutions that are tailored to solve social issues that bedevil the society. For instance, sociological theories have proved their significance in explaining the relationship between crime and family issues and have further gone ahead to propose solutions to these problems (Holmwood, 2011). There are a number of sociological theories that can be used to explain the relationships among the people in the society and the operations of the society in its entirety. The functionalism theory, interactionism theory, and conflict theory serve as perfect exemplars of theories that can be used to explain family relations. The theories listed above affect the family unit in different ways. They all influence the interaction and the functioning of the various members that constitute the family unit. Application of the Theories to the Family Institution Functionalism theory is a major sociological theory which interprets the various parts of the society and shows how these parts contribute to the stability of the society as a whole. According to this theory, the society is viewed as comprising of institutions that function collectively to meet and fulfill societal needs. This theory supports the ideology that the existence of social inequality within the society is both functional and avoidable. This inequality in the society is what encourages people to work harder so that they can attain better living standards. Societal stratification is as a result of social inequalities (Tischler, 2010). Applying the theory of functionalism to the family unit, the family is construed as comprising the father, who is the head of the family and the bread winner, the wife and kids. In this social unit, the members are interdependent. The theory also applies to the family as a social institution owing to the fact that the family has a tendency of forming deep social and psychological bonds that act as a support system for its members. The family institution has continued to contribute to the development of the society (Tischler, 2010). The family adds to the pool of the members of the society though reproduction. Furthermore, families inculcate a form of social responsibility among its members, thereby attaining social stability for its members. The role assigned to each family member is often dictated by the society. Basically, the husband and wife offer each other support in the areas such as financial, psychological, physical and social. Couples are motivated to meet their set objectives by the moral expectations dictated by the society. The couples are also obligated to support each other and this obligation is founded on the expectations that the society has on married people. This support system that the parents enjoy trickles down to the other members of the family. Therefore, just like the society, the family unit exemplifies a body of interrelated structures working together to meet asset objective. The theory on functionalism emphasizes on order and consensus in the family and society. Proponents of this theory hold that disorganization in the family institution would cause the entire society to readjust itself so as to maintain stability. This idea stems from the fact that the family is a part of a structure that comprises the society, and for the structure to be stable all its parts must function well. When a single component or part of the society is not working properly, the other parts are also affected and this is what leads to the emergence of social problems. Societal change can either be beneficial or harmful (Tischler, 2010). Negative societal change affects societal stability as it leads to the erosion of values and morals and as thus the members to the society fail to get fulfillment of their needs. Conversely, positive societal change enhances stability in the community. Therefore, this theory gives an explanation on how the family as a a component of the society contributes to societal functioning or dysfunction which will either lead to the attainment and sustenance of stability within the society. The theory on functionalism has imparted great influences on the functioning of the family unit. This theory places emphasis on order and stability within the family institution. This emphasis stems from the need to ensure that the family unit functions well and there is no dysfunction within its various members. The theory has helped in the discovery of the various parts of the company that are functioning well and those that face dysfunction. By so doing the theory has helped in the elimination of problems that would have disturbed societal stability. Functionalism theory has also enhanced the various roles played by the various parts of the family in their attempt to meet societal needs and expectations (Tischler, 2010). The views held by the various members of the family institution are affected by the functionalism theory. The theory informs the family members that they must operate in a way that will be beneficial to the whole family unit. This therefore follows that social changes might necessitate occasional changes in the duties and roles of the various members of the family. Societal change might also lead to a change in the social status of a family. In this regard, the various members of the family ought to brace themselves for the changes, whether positive or negative. The second theory that can be applied to discuss the family is the interactionism theory. This theory tends to create a mental picture within the minds of the various members of the family unit as regards to the symbolic meaning of the family. Hence, the family can be construed as a symbolic representation of certain concepts by convention, resemblance or interaction. These symbols are also important to the family members as they dictate how the members respond to aspects that include the use of language, way of living and thinking. Different families use different symbols and languages bearing completely different meaning. The point that really matters in this set up is the correct interpretation of the symbols so as to promote cohesion and understanding within the family unit (Turner, 2006). The process of social interaction occurs through face to face contacts and utilizes different things. The process comprises of reactions, actions, and some mutual adaptation among the persons engaged in the socialization process. These interactions include mannerism and body language. The main goal of social interaction is to communicate with other people. Body language and mannerism have the ability to either promote social interaction or negatively affect it. Wrongful use of these two components of social interactions can easily lead to breakage of communication. Persons engaged in the communication process can prevent the breakdown of relationship by adapting to the expectations of the person(s) they are interacting with. Furthermore, they can avoid incidents that lead to the breakdown of the interactions. For the process of social interaction to be considered successful, control must be practiced. This ensures that individual’s behaviors that might impede on the interactions are kept under check. Persons engaged in a social interaction process must control their mannerism so as to prevent the breakdown of relationships (Turner, 2006). According to this theory, the family comprises individuals who are constantly interacting with each other. Communication, personalities and duties play a crucial role in the family unit. Communication facilitates interactions among the various members of the family. The manner in which the various members of the family communicate determines their interaction with one another. This is so because the members engaged in the communication tend to act according to their translation of the words as used in the communication. The members also act according to the other non verbal cues they pick in the course of the social interaction process. Poor communication among family members impedes on their social interaction (Kurtz, 2006). In the family institution, self concepts and personalities are formed via social interactions. The interactions between parents and their children are very important as it allows for the parents to impart personality and self concept to their children. This trans...
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