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It is an accepted fact that family and nations sometimes undergo a stage of misunderstanding. Social scientists agree that these misunderstandings are inevitable as they are the ways of coping of this basic social unit to changes in societal norms as influenced by society where the family and its members belong. Misunderstanding among members should be addressed carefully to ensure that both parties are aggrieved of their dissatisfied feelings and to ensure that equilibrium in relation is properly returned into place to make the family more stable. Social scientists agree that the stability of family as a basic unit of

society is perpetually subjected to pressures from different norms and beliefs. It can be hypothesized that acceptance and or rejection of norms and beliefs is necessary as this serve as the foundation of the unit and determine its stability in face of challenges from the larger portion of society. In the light of the three sociological perspectives or theories, namely Functionalism, Conflict and Interactionalism, this paper aims to evaluate the impact of the individual theories to the family as the basic unit of society and to the countries as a whole.

Comparison of the Three Theories as it Apply to Family 1. The Functionalism Theory This theory focus on the macro-sociological aspect with institutions and structures existing in society in an inter-dependency mode (ueregina. ca, 2002). The functionalist analysis look at social systems as having certain needs and society as a system of social structures in the likes of economic, social and educational. According to the ueregina. ca (2002), the needs of the social system are being met by social structures. The structures are considered functional due to the fact that they make possible society to operate.

There is an inter-connection within and among social structures and individual, families and groups are constrained by these structures. The website emphasized that the various parts of individual society positively contribute to the functioning of the system as a whole. Goods and services must be produced and distributed in order for people to survive; there must be an enforced justice and political system and some family structure system must be in place to provide a 2 means of reproduction of population and maintain the daily social life.

In the functionalism theory, the individuals carry out each task of the different institutions and roles consistent with structures and societal norms. Functionalism theory therefore consider the relationship of the makeup of the system with each other in relation to the whole. The website reported that under functionalism, the different parts of the system work in an orderly manner without conflict and can be considered in equilibrium or always try to balance itself by achieving consensus or agreement instead of creating conflict. The website further reported

that while in equilibrium and achieving consensus, the inevitable reality of change is considered orderly and evolutionary. The pressure from external factors stimulate the adjustment of the different parts thus moving into new equilibrium. As change became a reality, the different parts of society tend to be differentiated in its function thus exhibiting resiliency in the face of changing needs and problems. In the light of functionalism theory whereby interdependency of social structures is the main philosophy, the family is considered as the most basic social structure.

Individuals are born into an institution called the family and in turn the family is interdependent with other social structures (Stephens et al. , 1998). According to the author, the family depends on the school for the educational and socialization needs of their children. The school on the other hand depend on the family to have their children know how to speak and possess the rudiments of socialization before enrolling to school (p. 51). According to the authors, the functionalism theory is sometimes called the consensus theory due to the fact that society

runs its course due to consensus or agreement (p. 50). Considering the nature of the family, the functionalist theory made possible the basic interdependency as practiced in the family. On closer analysis, in a conservative family, the considered head of the family is the father. It is expected that the father will bring home the money to be spent by the family members for buying the basic necessities. In turn, the other members of the family, particularly the mother is tasked of doing the household chores of laundry, cleaning the house and cooking the food.

The children are expected to help the mother in the chores. The functionalist 3 theory made the basic dependency principle within the family understandable and accepted within the norms of society. In today’s modern time, the changing societal norms of both the father and the mother earning money and the household chores being done by paid house help was understandable. The functionalist theory made it possible for society to fully adjust and understand the situation in search for equilibrium and consensus to make society runs its wheel and keep everyday life functioning smoothly.

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