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Sociology assignment - Essay Example

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Structural Functionalism and Conflict Theory in the Family Name Institution Date Structural Functionalism and Conflict Theory in the Family A family is a group of people that are living together and have close relationships. Most people define a family as a group of people that are related by blood…
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Structural Functionalism and Conflict Theory in the Family Structural Functionalism and Conflict Theory in the Family A family is a group of people that are living together and have close relationships. Most people define a family as a group of people that are related by blood. Hill states that, a family is a social setting where people live together as one irrespective of the blood relations (Hill, 2011). A family is a social setting that brings a number of people who make decisions to live as one. This includes parents and children both adopted and borne. Conflict theory is defined in the social setting as a way in which people that live in a single unit execute their powers. Apparently, people that live in a single unit would like to have power more the other members. As such, they will have to go through some struggles in redefining a part of the family that has more powers than the others do have (Schlomer, Giudice and Ellis, 2011). In such a situation, most of the people in the single unit will have to take the appropriate actions when competing for resources. Sociologists state that the need for power to control the family often results into conflicts. A particular member of the family often experiences the intense competition in the family setup in many parts of the world since there is need for ultimate control. Under such circumstance, the aggrieved member will try to rectify the situation by insisting on ultimate control. This leads to frequent conflicts that may not be solved easily. It is important to note that other concepts like cooperation, threats, negotiation, bargaining and aggression also affect the family setup. People would think that the family setups are harmonious. This is often seen from the daily routine of families where people continuously live in the same setting. For example, a family lives in the same house for a long time without exposing their weaknesses to the neighbours or friends. However, when focusing on the family in depth, several conflicts exist in the family (Schlomer, Giudice and Ellis, 2011). To demystify this, the conflict theory tries to explain what happens in family setups. First, the theory examines of the roles played by different members of the family. Similarly, it focuses on the different dynamics used in the family especially in solving situations. Several aspects are important to note when relating conflict theory to family. First, the theory is significant in that it provides effective methods of communication. Understanding that families will often have conflicts is an appropriate way of solving the problems. Similarly, this will educate the family members on the need to have positive relations rather than fighting for supremacy and ultimate control. Secondly, the theory states that it is almost impossible to interact with people without an eventuality of conflict. Therefore, conflict theory teaches family members to know how to deal with conflicts since they are in the offing. Thirdly, conflict theory state several features that are required in the family. In avoiding conflicts ensuing, families should have ultimate regard for love, affection and correct use of power. Similarly, it educates the family on correct decision-making (Hill, 2011). Lastly, conflict theory explains the need to have appropriate and timely resolutions. For example, the family should have some rules that include expressing their grievances in a safe environment. Similarly, all the members should believe that there are many solutions to every problem. However, they must focus on the ultimate solution that will stabilize the family. Structural functionalism states that the society adopts a compound system that is instrumental in promotion of stability and ensuring ultimate solidarity. It states that members of a family strive to have a lasting bond that connects all the family members (Chibucos, Leite and Weis, 2005). In actual sense, all the members of the family will have an emotional bonding that shows they have commonality. When members of family have a common objective, they are likely to live harmoniously. This weeds out any conflict between the family members. However, members of as family are also encouraged to extend the same to the neighbours and friends to avoid conflicts with the members of the society. Several aspects of Structural functionalism are highlighted in the family setup. To begin with, the individuals of the family strive for social support. They have to gather in-depth systems that enhance trust in the family members to offer support at all times. Secondly, family members strive to attain social responsibility. This is where family members assist each other without expecting to be paid. Apparently, in the capitalism world, all people expect to be paid after rendering some services. However, in the family setting, this structural function should be enhanced. Lastly, structural functionalism in the family setup is geared towards establishing social cohesion (Hill, 2011). The family members engage in social activities that strengthen their harmony and peaceful coexistence. In conclusion, the family is an institution that is affected by both conflict and structural organisation. On one hand, conflicts will often erupt. However, there should be parameters of limiting chances of conflicts. On the other hand, families have structural functionalism that dictates that families should strive to develop emotional bonds and live an environment that is conducive. As such, families are obligated to provide social support, healthy environment and opportunity for development of all family members. References Chibucos, T. R., & Leite, R. W., and Weis, D. L. (2005). Readings in the family theory. California: Sage. Hill, S. A. (2011). Families: A social class perspective. New York: Pine Forge Press. Schlomer, G. L. Giudice, D. M. & Ellis, B. J. (2011). parent–offspring conflict theory: an evolutionary framework for understanding conflict within human families. Arizona: University of Arizona. Psychological Review © 2011 American Psychological Association 2011, Vol. 118, No. 3, 496–521. Read More
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