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July 7, 2008 / C H Thompson

The family and ideology continued

We have found the Leach argues the cereal packet family is an ideology because it creates a distorted image of what the family should be. It is seen as ideological because it creates a powerful image which is replicated over and over to the extent it becomes normal and everything else is compared against this ideal.

Therefore the nuclear family headed by a married heterosexual couple and not a gay couple is the ideal family unit for raising children in!!!

  1. But is such a view point a product of ideology?
  2. Using your understanding of the relationship between ideology and the family, explain the relationship between ideology, the family, socialisation and stratification and how they might create an ideology?

Sociologists argue that this ideology creates a distorted picture because people are socialised in a primary way by their family to recognise the nuclear family as ideal as well as through the media (secondary socialisation). This creates a dominant ideology of the nuclear family as ideal. As a consequence of this stereotypical image other family forms are stratified beneath the nuclear family and familial diversity remains hidden to the extent anything different from a nuclear family is second best.

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