.. f that family. So the functional integration of the single parent family can exist in the conflict theory, but the determination of that childs outcome has its reliance on the social class from whence it came from (Mills 1). Through the rationale of symbolic interactionism, relies on individuality. The institution of a family in this perspective is important because it can provide the background for culture, humanism, power, and character.
Yet, symbolic interactionism does not believe that the institution of the family is the complete basis of all knowledge, but rather “the significance of the relationship to the human conduct is nevertheless a by-product of interaction with others” (Blumer 3). So parenting, much less single parenting, is an output of social interaction with the children. Power in the family is very important. It stands for who is in charge and who isnt, who has the authority and who doesnt. The sociological meaning of power is “the ability to realize ones will, even against resistance and the opposition of others” (Thompson and Hickey 22).
Power in the family is what may make or break the family. Too much power might cause a spouse to move away. Please do not plagiarism my paper Functionalists believe that power is the background of the whole theory. Power demonstrates authority but no one group (government, religious, or business) can dominate the entire system (Thompson and Hickey 482). In the family, a dominate powerful person, (mainly the male), can make the family into a learning, and cultural institution.
Functionalism leaves no room to challenge this paternal power, because that would give rise to conflict. Conflict can then rise to spousal abuse or violence. Single parents can give more power to the children because they provide the power. The Conflict theory presents a different image. Conflict focuses on “differences in power and authority and the exploitation of some groups at times” (Thompson and Hickey 28).
Conflict theorists focuses on inequality and diversity. In parenting, power reflects values and conflict, which is based on social class. Single parenting might be difficult to gain power because of the low prestige a parent might have. But this can section off where each social class stands and can give rise to other classes. On the other hand, Symbolic Interactionism provides more like a carefree environment.
This perspective focuses on “negotiated meanings”. Power can be negotiated throughout the family. Power is almost ignored throughout symbolic interactionism. Instead, symbolic interactionism can focus on the individual and our interactions with one another. Power in a single parent family can exist as long who is in charge can stay in charge, and can provide for the family. A single parent family can have its own unique influence.
“We agree with Erikson (1968) that early development of trust, and satisfaction of the childs dependency needs by the mother or other primary caretaker, is an important underpinning of later love relationships” (Rosenthal and Keshet 14). Culture in the family is important because it provides rules, proper behavior, and incentive. The sociological term for culture is “the learned set of beliefs, values, norms, and material goods shared by group members (Thompson and Hickey 68). Family culture gives us a representation of whom we are and what kind of goals we are here to achieve. In America, culture has changed, but the norms, values, and mores have remained the same. In a single parent family, culture may be beneficial because it can provide more time to spend with the children, rather than a spouse, and also might encourage more opportunities for growth and sharing (Duncan 1). Functionalism believes in traditions.
Functionalists tend to emphasize the origin of customs, and in America, a single parent family is not an origin of a custom. Although divorce rates are high in America, functionalism believes that single parent families do not practice cultural integration. Functionalism relies on ideal culture, which is “what people should do, according to group norms and values” (Thompson and Hickey 88). Conflict theorists believe that conflict within culture is part of the family. The challenge of culture and diversity can promote multi-cultural benefits and kinship structures.
As families grow, so can the social status of the family, if the wealth increases as well. In modern societies when the family reaches a state of crisis, divorce seems to be the most thought out alternative. Wilson, a Marxist sociologist, says, “the there has always been abuse but the difference between the present and the past is that there is more help for women today.” Single parenting supports this feature. In symbolic interactionism, “the interactionist approach focuses on how individuals and groups use symbols to define and interpret reality” (Thompson and Hickey 90). This characteristic is still remarkably important in America, as it was 50 years ago.
Blumer calls these cultural grounds “root images”. Blumer concluded that, in interactionism, symbols and meanings are a part of our everyday lives. In single parenting, every person plays a large role in the family, and by this, the entire family can be more closely bonded by culture and its effects. The future of the American family looks bright. But the traditional nuclear American family, is dying out.
Parents are constantly bound with work, children, and elders. I expect single parents to be more likely than married parents, to have made work decisions, since they must balance work and family demands without the flexibility of having another caregiver present to take over parenting duties when work responsibilities loom large (Wenk 49). Women want more demand for their work and if their abusive relations with their husband do continue, they will leave the spouse. I enjoyed the view under the conflict perspective in which it discussed how single parents might benefit the economy as well as the feminists view point of how violence in the family is dealt with. I also liked the ideas under symbolic interactionism and functionalism, of how they theorize on functional integration. I believe that institution of family plays a large role on how children will behave when they are older. And the idea that “it is the institution that we owe to our humanity” (Mills 3).
Without the family, we would have no recognition of our culture, norms, behavioral attitudes, and basically life in general. But in Functionalism, I did not like the idea of how the patriarchal family should exist and how if there is violence in the family, we should ignore it? That it is only a micro problem of society? Then what would be considered a macro problem of society in functionalism? In my learned opinion, I have learned more than I never would have expected in this paper. I have learned about each sociological view more than what just reading the book could give me. In the information that I have collected, I would agree with the sociological view of symbolic interactionism, because I believe it to be the most thought out of all of them. It makes its points clear and does not contradict itself.
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