Functionalists believe that sociological matters should be explained with scientific facts. This is otherwise known as Positivism. The founder of Positivism, Angste Comte, describes it as a method of study based primary facts, objectively measured, from which makes it possible to identify issues in society that effect individuals and leaves room for innovation in law and establishing new legislation. An example of this would be statistics. Positivists believe that sociology should adopt the methodology of the natural sciences and focus only on directly observable social facts and correlate them with other observable social facts.
Marxists are critical of such attitudes because ** Children may be socialised to accept that family loyalties are more important than loyalties to other groups . they are socialised to believe that "blood is thicker than water" or that "charity begins at home." For Functionalists such values strengthen the family and help it to fulfil its functions. For Marxists family solidarity may weaken social class solidarity and /or dissuade children from consideration of wider issues related to the inequities of capitalism. According to Parsons traditional gender roles are appropriate because they are in accordance with the "instrumental" characteristics of men and the "expressive" characteristics of females. Children are socialised in various ways to accept these traditional gender roles. Note that Feminist sociologists[ including Marxist Feminists} are especially critical of the Functionalist analysis of gender roles. For Functionalists this is beneficial for the individuals concerned and for the society as a whole because... Marxists and Feminists are critical of the Functionalist approach to gender roles socialisation because..... Children may be socialised to accept the general political attitudes of their parents which are often [but not always] likely to involve some support for existing liberal democratic institutions, voting for one of the main political parties and a general absence of political radicalism For Functionalists such political views are beneficial because... Marxists are critical of such political attitudes because... ** The Family and the stabilisation of adult personalities. Functionalists argue that men and women can lead happy and fulfilling lives as a result of the deep personal relationships which are forged within families and, in addition, family life helps to remove some of the tensions which arise out of work conditions and relationships. Marxists agree that family life can be happy and fulfilling but they emphasise that capitalism results in exploitation and alienation which are likely to create tensions within many families. Although in some cases family life can make capitalism bearable , only the ending of capitalism can result in human emancipation.