SOC 262 Week 4: Sociology Matters

Week 4 Sociology Matters


Week 4 Sociology Matters


“A family may be defined as a set of people who are related by blood, marriage (or some other agreed-upon relationship), or adoption who share the primary responsibility for reproduction and caring for members society” (Schaefer, 2019, Chapter 8). When you think of the term family, it can mean many different things to different people. No matter what your idea of family is, it is a large aspect in our society overall. Today I am going to discuss which one of the four major perspectives on the family is the most meaningful to me and why.

Which Major Perspective On The Family Strikes You The Most

When I think about family, I look at the many different types of families and their contributions to the economy. Everyone has a different take on what family means to them or how their different family types contributes to society. When I look at the different perspectives on the family, the one that resonates the most with me is the functionalist perspective. According to Schaefer (2019), The functionalist perspective really focuses on the six major functions that a family performs (Chapter 8). These six functions are reproduction, protection, socialization, regulation of sexual behavior, affection and compassion, and provision of social status. When I look at these six functions, they are all very important to society as a whole. Reproduction is crucial because a society cannot continue if a family is not reproducing to replace the dying members. For me, protection and socialization are equally important. Infants are unable to care for themselves, so parents and family are responsible for protecting them and to help with their upbringing. It is also the responsibility of the family to teach the norms, values, and language of their culture to their children. Though sexual norms change over time and differ based on different cultures, these sexual behaviors are clearly defined by the family (Schaefer, 2019, Chapter 8). Even though some family dynamics are not ideal when it comes to affection and compassion, family is where we expect to learn norms so that we can have intimate relationships with other people. Lastly, our social status is based on our family background. Even though these are the six main functions of a family, there are a number of other functions that a family has fulfilled, such as education and religious training.

Why Do I Agree With The Functionalist Perspective

When looking at the different major perspectives, I evaluated those perspectives and chose the one that I felt like I agreed with most. For me, the functionalist perspective makes the most sense to me and how it contributes to society. I truly feel that family is a big factor when it comes to our society and how everyone interacts with each other, even when outside of their family. Everything that our society relies on stems from the family unit. When I think about a family, I think about the people that teach you how to interact with people. This is huge when it comes to our society because if a family does not teach each other how to interact or show compassion, then it would be difficult to interact with other individuals. The family truly starts from the beginning and is there throughout an entire life. Family is where we reproduce to continue growing our society. The family then cares for and nurtures infants and kids so they are cared for properly. From there, the family really helps you to grow and develop as a person so that you can learn, grow, and have the potential to be your best self in society.


When thinking about family, there are many different definitions to different people. No matter the definition of family, I think everyone can agree that family contributes greatly to society overall. The six major functions that the family performs are important to society, as they each contribute to society in different ways over time. Though some people may feel that family is a negative impact on society, I truly believe that the functionalist perspective is the most fitting for how family contributes to society.


Schaefer, R. T. (2019). Sociology Matters (7th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.

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