• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month


Extracts from this document...


THE ROLE OF THE EXTENDED FAMILY In traditional, pre-industrial societies, the family fulfilled central functions for the survival of society itself and for its individual members. Murdock claims that the family has and had four functions: Sexual (it contains a controlled outlet for sexual gratification which could otherwise lead to conflict and jealousies). Reproductive (Allows adult to know the biological parents of children, therefore avoiding incest and delineating lines of descents). Economic (it functions as a productive and consumption unit, ensuring the survival of the family). Educational (Passes on the knowledge and skills from one generation to the next). In pre-industrial societies production largely depended on the amount of family labour accessible to in the land and the extended family was the most appropriate unit. The extended family is defined as a grouping broader than the nuclear family which is related by descent, marriage or adoption. It existed as a structure of collective responsibility for its members even if they did not all live together in the same household. ...read more.


family became a unit of consumption rather than production; its members no longer worked together but rather used the wages they had earned to buy goods which they consumed as a family unit. With industrial societies the extended family was a disadvantage because the nuclear family worked as a unit of production. Functions of wider kinship have been taken over by specialised agencies such as welfare state and also the nuclear family was more geographical mobile - able to search for work. Furthermore, being in an extended family young people couldn't be as independent as they desire to be. They needed to be independent of the families to find their own occupations and social positions. The family is not required to ascribe status. The advantages of the extended family system were that there is no welfare state. The extended family provides welfare, assistance, training, etc. Secondly, it helps reduce the level of social conflict. ...read more.


The extended family faded away by the industrialisation process and the nuclear family became the predominant family form, this is due to the reduced size of the family, women are not having so many babies and the recent growth in lone parent families. The welfare state has taken responsibility for the ill, the aged and the unemployed but the extended family does often still assist in these areas, particularly in times of crisis, e.g. death. Increased educational opportunities have led to a wider variety of jobs being available, leading to geographical mobility. The increased desire for home ownership has led to the disruption of settled communities. The structure of the family seems remarkably resilient in responding to and shaping economic changes. The evidence suggests that the extended family network still exists and although many families are physically spread over a wide geographical area, communication occurs with the aid of cars and telephones. The extended family still comes together in times of economic struggle and decline in periods of affluence, and that values percolate down from the higher social classes to the lower ones. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Family & Marriage section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Family & Marriage essays

  1. How cultural deprivation affects the educational attainment of students.

    The questionnaire also will need to be interesting for the user as they may loose interest and give inaccurate answers. I will also need to minimise the amount of false and inaccurate data given to me by students. One way I will try to solve this problem is by giving

  2. Is the nuclear family in decline?

    study guide, revise AS).Figures from government statistic show that there are fewer marriages, more divorce, more single parents families and also more children born out of wed lock.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work