Renata1999
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Hey,
I have been set the 20 mark question 'Appying material from Item A and your knowledge, evaluate the usefulness of structural approaches to our understanding of families and households' I know I need to talk about feminists, Marxists and functionalists but I have no idea how to start it or structure it!
Please help
Thank you
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2676497
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In your intro I would define what a structuralist approach is, and talk about how some are structuralist consensus (Functionalism) and some are structuralist conflict (Marxism). For your first paragraph I would start with a structuralist approach, so maybe a Functionalist, like Parsons' warm bath theory. Outline what they say then link it back to the question. Then in your second paragraph counter that with an approach that isn't structuralist, and link back to the question, etc. I aim for a minimum of 5 paragraphs, with a minimum of 2 in agreement of it being useful.
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Renata1999
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(Original post by Becky.stokes)
In your intro I would define what a structuralist approach is, and talk about how some are structuralist consensus (Functionalism) and some are structuralist conflict (Marxism). For your first paragraph I would start with a structuralist approach, so maybe a Functionalist, like Parsons' warm bath theory. Outline what they say then link it back to the question. Then in your second paragraph counter that with an approach that isn't structuralist, and link back to the question, etc. I aim for a minimum of 5 paragraphs, with a minimum of 2 in agreement of it being useful.

Thank you! This sounds really silly but could you explain that in a bit more depth. My teacher is not that great therefore I don't have much knowledge of the whole topic yet. She didn't tell us how to answer or structure a 20 mark question, she just gave the homework, which means I am a bit stuck! Also I just started year 12 therefore i don't have much knowledge yet.
Thank you
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consensus
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The question is really asking you about whether individuals shape the family/household or whether some of the 'structures' in society do that. Structuralists think that people are 'dopes', they have little control ove life. Our life is largely shaped for us.

If I were marking I would want to discuss the changing nature of the family and how and why it can be difficult to define. Evidenve shows the 'nuclear' family is being replaced by smaller units. Why is this?

Feminists may argue that women in the work place has changed the family, as has demands in the workplace, government poilcy, securalisation of society and loss of control of religion etc.

Marxists will argue that the changes in the workplace have changed the family. It may be too expensive to have a large family, housing costs are high, parents need to work, the workforce needs to be more mobile and flexible to work demands etc.

Hope this helps
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Meee1234
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Is this a gcse or A level question?


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Renata1999
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(Original post by Meee1234)
Is this a gcse or A level question?


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AKinkAdmirer
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The key thing here is that the question is asking you to "evaluate." This means to test out something, so for every argument you propose you need to write about its pros and cons. For each of the three theories you are looking at, marxism, functionalism and feminism, write down any supprting evidence for their claims (the findings of a related survey for example). Also consider strengths such as acknowledgement of a factor other theories have overlooked. Then in the same way look for contradictory evidence and weaknesses in the claims. It is very worthwhile to play the theories off each other a bit.

My examples are a bit vague because I did this for AS last year but haven't revised it for this year yet and I've forgotten a scary amount. You'll need to go into a lot more detail in your actual essay.


For example functionalism could be praised for recognising the importance of primary socialisation of children within the family. Yet it can be criticised for being too idealistic in assuming all aspects of the family have a definite function in society. Positive evaluation of Marxism could be that they acknowledge the effects of capitalism on the family and are therefore less overly idealistic than the functionalist view. However for negative evaluation, it is very difficult to prove the marxist claims that families are being manipulated to suit the ruling class. Marxist Feminists may also criticise Marxism (marxist feminists are regarded as an offshoot of feminism more than as an offshoot of marxism or so I've been taught, so it is fair to use it to criticise mainstream marxism) for not acknowledging that women are especially vulnerable to exploitation by the ruling class.
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Renata1999
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(Original post by AKinkAdmirer)
The key thing here is that the question is asking you to "evaluate." This means to test out something, so for every argument you propose you need to write about its pros and cons. For each of the three theories you are looking at, marxism, functionalism and feminism, write down any supprting evidence for their claims (the findings of a related survey for example). Also consider strengths such as acknowledgement of a factor other theories have overlooked. Then in the same way look for contradictory evidence and weaknesses in the claims. It is very worthwhile to play the theories off each other a bit.

My examples are a bit vague because I did this for AS last year but haven't revised it for this year yet and I've forgotten a scary amount. You'll need to go into a lot more detail in your actual essay.


For example functionalism could be praised for recognising the importance of primary socialisation of children within the family. Yet it can be criticised for being too idealistic in assuming all aspects of the family have a definite function in society. Positive evaluation of Marxism could be that they acknowledge the effects of capitalism on the family and are therefore less overly idealistic than the functionalist view. However for negative evaluation, it is very difficult to prove the marxist claims that families are being manipulated to suit the ruling class. Marxist Feminists may also criticise Marxism (marxist feminists are regarded as an offshoot of feminism more than as an offshoot of marxism or so I've been taught, so it is fair to use it to criticise mainstream marxism) for not acknowledging that women are especially vulnerable to exploitation by the ruling class.
Thank you soooo much
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