The functionalist perspective chosen for the analysis considers any society as a complex system consisting of multiple parts that work together and cooperate with the primary goal to promote solidarity, stability, and achieve high levels of evolution (Boden, Berenbaum, & Gross, 2016). That is why it focuses on social structures, their cooperation, and outcomes.
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Topic of Interest
The application of the selected paradigm can help to analyze one of the issues that are topical today. There is an idea that sincere love and care for children are more important than the type of family (single-parent or gay couple). The choice of the given question is preconditioned by its increased relevance to the modern world. With the development of tolerance and humanistic values, discriminative patterns that had been powerful for the bigger part of history lost their importance. Today, there is an attempt to create beneficial and positive environments for all people regardless of their gender, race, and sexual orientation. For this reason, gay couples have an opportunity to engage in relations and create families. However, the question about children and their upbringing in this sort of household remains topical as there are ideas that only traditional families can ensure that a child will acquire the desired education, system of values, and perspectives.
In a contemporary society characterized by new approaches to some traditional issues, these views can be considered outdated and even biased. There is another topical idea stating that sincere love and care are the only demands that are needed to provide a child with all he/she needs and create an environment beneficial for his/her development. The existence of these opposing perspectives lays the ground for vigorous debates at different levels regarding the ability of single-parent or gay families to provide a child with all elements critical for his/her growth. The application of the functionalist perspective on this question can help to analyze all existing ideas and formulate a particular conclusion justifying a specific position.
One of the basic assumptions of the functionalist perspective is that all aspects of society are interdependent and should work together with the primary goal to create some better conditions or achieve desired goals. Employing this idea, the main purpose of any family is the useful cooperation and creation of stable partnership relations to improve the well-being of new generations (Amato, Patterson, & Beattie, 2015). In such a way, from the functionalist perspective, the composition of a family is not essential if compare with the ability of this unit to provide children with the needed conditions and attention. Accepting the given assumption, it is possible to analyze the importance of love and care and correlate these phenomena with the type of family.
The fact is that the ability to feel and be attracted does not depend on gender. Both males and females can be loving parents who look after their children and do their best to ensure that there will be no problems or barriers limiting the development of young people. At the same time, representatives of all genders can be bad parents who disregard their primary functions, do not accept basic responsibilities, and ignore the basic need of a child. That is why the traditional family consisting of a man and a woman does not guarantee that children will enjoy love and care (Cocker, Hafford-Letchfield, Ryan, & Barran, 2019). To a greater degree, the ability to be a good mother or father depends on the personal qualities of an individual, his/her priorities, and values he/she appreciates.
In such a way, from the functionalist perspective, the provision of appropriate care for a child is more important than a composition of a family as it guarantees the successful cooperation between partners with the primary goal to raise their offspring and contribute to the evolution of society. Moreover, under these conditions, sincere love and care become critical determinants of success as these phenomena can evidence the existence of practical collaboration between two members of society that try to create a beneficial environment for a new individual (McMillin, 2014). The same paradigm can be applied to a single-parent family, as in this case, a person also functions as a part of society focused on the promotion of stability and achievement of higher levels of evolution. Altogether, the problem of gay or single families and their ability to educate children in appropriate ways can be analyzed using the functionalist perspective, and it proves that the type of a household remains less significant compared to the possibility to engage in meaningful cooperation.
The following articles were used for the research:
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Amato, P., Patterson, S., & Beattie, B. (2015). Single-parent households and children’s educational achievement: A state-level analysis. Social Science Research, 53, 191-202. Web.
The authors delve into the peculiarities of single-parent families to determine their impact on the well-being of a child and his/her ability to achieve success in various spheres, including the educational one.
Boden, M. T., Berenbaum, H., & Gross, J. J. (2016). Why do people believe what they do? A functionalist perspective. Review of General Psychology, 20(4), 399–411. Web.
The article reviews the basic assumptions of the functionalist perspective and explains its application to modern society to evaluate motifs for people’s actions.
Cocker, C., Hafford-Letchfield, T., Ryan, P., & Barran, C. (2019). Positioning discourse on homophobia in schools: What have lesbian and gay families got to say? Qualitative Social Work, 18(5), 800–817. Web.
The work reveals the barriers gay families face when providing care to their children. There is a description of biased attitudes and factors that can be used by representatives of this cohort to justify their position.
McMillin, S. E. (2014). Healthy families and gay rights: A multiple streams analysis of civil union legislation in Illinois. Families in Society, 95(4), 277–284. Web.
The paper explains the idea of a healthy family and its basic qualities. Additionally, the author cogitates about the ability of gay couples to create an environment that can be beneficial for a child.
The importance of the given research cannot be overestimated. First of all, it contributes to the improved understanding of the functionalist perspective and how it can be applied to some issues arising in modern society. The existence of disputable aspects is one of the integral parts of any community, and their resolution is a key to further evolution. That is why the ability to employ various theoretical frameworks becomes critical for the achievement of positive outcomes and in-depth analysis of multiple problematic ideas. Moreover, in the course of this research, the importance of the institution of the family is investigated. As one of the basics of any society, households should be able to create environments beneficial for children and their development. In this regard, the type of the family and its composition lose their importance if compare with the ability to provide sincere love and care, which are the core elements required to raise a child.
Moreover, the research promotes the enhanced comprehending of sociology and problems relevant to the modern world. The fact is that that gay couples often face barriers because of their sexual orientation and the existence of various stereotypes impacting people or organizations. The application of the functionalist perspective helps to resolve some problems by outlining the importance of certain issues and their contribution to the evolution of communities. In such a way, during the investigation, the information proving the obsolete character of some biased attitudes to gay families was collected and analyzed. It can be used in the future when working on some other projects or applying another perspective, such as conflict, symbolic, or interactionist ones, to similar problematic issues.