Marxist Views of The Family /
Revision . Mock Exam: Edu and
Res Methods Part 1
• Marxist Views of the Family
with newspaper collage activity
• Revision : Education
• Mock Exam (1 hour)
Marxist Perspectives on
the Family
An introduction to Marxism
and family sociology
The importance of
Frederick Engels
• Marx himself didn’t
pay much attention
to the role of the
• It was his friend
and collaborated
Engels who
attempted to trace
the evolution of the
family through time
in “The Origin of
the Family”
Engels’ Conclusions 1
• The monogamous
bourgeois nuclear
family developed to
help solve the problem
of the inheritance of
private property – men
needed to know who
their children were in
order to pass on their
property to their heirs
• The family is therefore
designed to control
women and protect
Engels’ Conclusions 2
• The bourgeios nuclear family emerged with
• It is patriarchal – it is designed to
guarantee and perpetuate male power
through the inheritance of property
• It therefore serves the interests of
• Nuclear family is ideal for and benefits, the
ruling class*
• Ideological state apparatus (conditioning
The Family and Ideological State
• Reading the newspapers, cut and paste the
articles that you feel reflect the ideological
state apparatus in or over the family.
• Create a collage and label the items that
you use
• Consider:
• Consumer advertising aimed at nuclear families.
Materialism –latest products for home.
• Patriarchal system – encourages passive
acceptance of authority, hierarchy and inequality
(gender roles in family)
• edia imagery of family roles. ‘The ideal family’
Marxists say the family
serve capitalism is 4 ways
• The family socialises children – thereby
reproducing both labour power and an
acceptance of capitalism (false
• Women’s domestic work is unpaid which
benefits capitalism.
• The family acts as a safety valves for the
stresses and frustrations of working class
• The family as a unit of consumption buys
the goods and services provided by
• Zaretsky claimed
the family “props
up” capitalism
• The family is one
place where male
workers can feel
they have power
and control. This
helps them accept
their oppression in
wider society
• * Alternative
argument to ‘warm
bath theory
Criticisms of Marxist
• Anthropologists have suggested that
the emergence of the nuclear family
didn’t actually coincide with the
emergence of capitalism
• The Marxist view ignores family
diversity. It sees the nuclear family
as being simply determined by the
Revision- Education
Functionalist, Marxist Views of The Family
/ Revision . Mock
Exam: Edu and Res Methods Part 1 Marxist, Feminist, New Right
(Post Modern) views of family
Internal factors:
Hargreaves - Streaming
Keddie/ Ball –Labelling
(other in school factors: teaching)
Douglas: Material Deprivation
Bordieu: Cultural deprivation / home factors/ High and Low
Bernstein: language factors
Pupil S
Subcultures: Beach, Willis.
External Factors:
Race, gender (Feminist views), Social Class, Region
Changes to UK education system –key dates (tripartite,
comprehensive, selective)
Recent changes : new Right, New Labour ( Vocationalism, third

Marxist Perspectives on the Family