John J. Macionis explains the importance of sociology in family in the thirteenth chapter, ‘Family and Religion’ of his book ‘Society, The Basics’. When the analysis is done on micro-level we learn that individuals get formed up and learn a lot through the experience of family life. Members of the family especially children build emotional bonds, become intimate with one another and above all are taught about their culture and values. Family gives an ideal picture of marriage and it is seen that matured individuals in United States find great pleasure in upbringing their own children.
The structural functional approach of importance of family for society at macro level according to Macionis is, The family performs vital tasks, including socializing the young and providing emotional and functional support for members. The family helps regulate sexual activity. The social conflict approach is, The family perpetuates social inequality by handing down wealth from one generation to the next. The family supports patriarchy as well as racial and ethnic inequality.
The symbolic interaction approach is, The reality of family life is constructed by members in their interaction. Courtship typically brings together people who offer the same level of advantages. (Society, The Basics, Chapter Thirteen, Family and Religion, Page- 24) Macionis explains how is sociology important to your family and family is also equally important to the society. In fact, describing the basic concepts of the family, Macionis explains that
Family- a social institution found in all societies that unites people in cooperative groups to oversee the bearing and raising of children. (Society, The Basics, Chapter Thirteen, Family and Religion, Page- 2) As there have been development and changes in the society, family structure as well as cultural norms have also changed and modified. There have been both pros and cons of the development and they need to be understood in order to prevent the dark effects of progress on society and families as well.
The family performs a lot of duties, which includes mainly of providing material and emotional security to its members and socialization. Due to increase in divorce rates and broken families these duties are not completely performed. Society depends upon families in many aspects and family on the other hand plays a role in social classification based on values and ethics. Macionis writes that every marriage consists of two dissimilar relationships in which one is that of men and the other of women.
The expectations and anticipations of both the genders are different but marriage stays on the pillars of mutual understanding. People’s thinking have changed regarding having babies through new technologies of reproduction which help reduce the rate of birth defects and also help those couples have their own children who suffer with some deficiency or so. There has been stress on the importance of religion on society and individuals and history depicts that there have been many social reform movements that have been promoted due to religiosity.
It is believed that outbreak of industrial revolution was because of religious principles and doctrine of Calvinism. There have been lots of problems and transitions in family life because history portrays women as property of men and domestic violence as a private concern and these concepts are changing with time. These are the points of discussion and detailed information found in this chapter, ‘Family and Religion’ from the book, ‘Society, The Basics’ by Macionis that I appreciate and like the most.
Courtney from Study Moose
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