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Is George Murdock's 'Nuclear Family' still, the norm in British society?

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Is George Murdock's 'Nuclear Family' still, the norm in British society? Nicola Armstrong Is George Murdock's Nuclear Family still the norm in British Society? Rationale I choose to study the family, because the media often presents the image of the nuclear family, the breadwinner husband and the dependent mother and children living in a romanticized manner, but I myself live in the complete opposite, with a high percentage of divorce. This led me to contemplate, what is the family situation of the rest of society is. When writing about the family George Murdock (1) (1949) wrote, "It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of sexually cohabiting adults." This research study, aims to investigate if Murdock's 'family' is still the norm in British society. I anticipate my findings will confirm that Murdock's 'family' is decreasing in percentage. The reason being that Murdock's model of the family does not allow for divorce, re-structured families, single parents and serial monogamy these reasons I hypothesise that Murdock's 'family' is no longer the norm in British society, but it is on the course of a rapid decrease, due to the rapid escalation in divorce, which results in the intensity of re-structured families and single parents. Context In order to carry my research project out successfully, I decided that it would be imperative for me to understand similar studies investigating the family. In 1949, George Murdock (1) described the family as "a social group characterized by common residence, economic co-operation and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted of the sexually co-habiting adults" This family or more communally known the nuclear family has been heavily debated whether this image still applies to today's society. ...read more.


This can also reflect into why the reconstituted family is increasing. This is due to an individual having a child outside of wedlock, and bringing it up as a single parent. This may later on result in marriage to another partner, which will form a reconstituted family. Evaluation In evaluating my methodology, I feel that I choose the most appropriate process for this type of research. This research was based on finding out if the nuclear family was still the norm, in British society, to do this successfully; I had to gather quantitative data in order to turn into percentages to, prove if it was still the norm. The use of closed-questions in my questionnaire, made it a lot easier to produce the quantitative, data, as the participant only ticked the box, which applied to them, and so all I had to do was make a tally of the participants answers and turn them into percentages. The use of the closed-question, limit the freedom of response of the participant, and so I was able to extract the information I needed without any chance of their being misleading answers, which I would certainly have got if I had used open-questions. For, this research, I wanted to keep absolute anonymity, and confidentiality of the participant. In my pilot study, I had identified that the participants may of felt they could not share their answers with me, in the fear of being judged. By using a self-completion questionnaire, I was able to lighten this fear, allowing their answers to be truthful, leaving me with reliable and valid results. This was furthered by, asking the participant's to place their completed questionnaires into an un-marked envelope, and giving it back to, me in which I did not open until, I had collected them all in. Even, though I attempted to apply total confidentiality for the participants, I was unable to achieve this. ...read more.


Pilot study Questionnaire 1. How old are you? 2. Are you Male of Female? Male Female 3. Are you? Straight Gay Bi-sexual 4. What is you occupation? 5. Where do you live? 6. Are you married? Yes No 7. Have you been married before? Yes No 8. How many years? 9. At what age were you when you got married? 10. Why did you get married? Love Money Children 11. Have you been married before? Yes (q13) No 12. How many times? 1 2 3 4 13. Why did you get divorced? No longer in love Financial reasons Your expectations of marriage weren't met Grew apart Other = 14. Do you want to get married? Yes No 15. Why? 16. Do you have any children? Yes No 17. How many? 1 2 3 4 5 18. Do you want children in the future? Yes No 19. Why? 20. Do you live with the farther of the children? Yes No 21. Are you a lone parent? Yes No 22. Do you receive financial support from him? Yes No 23. Do you receive financial support from the government for your children? Yes No 24. Are you parts of a step - family? Yes No 25. Does your partner have any children from a previous marriage? Yes No 26. Do you have any children from a previous marriage? Yes (Q23) No (Q24) 27. Do they live in your household? Yes No 28. Do they live in your household? Yes No 29. In your view who has the final in an argument in your household? Man Women Equal 30. Who does the majority of the cleaning in the household? Male Female Equally 31. Who does the majority of the DIY in the household? Male Female Equally shared 32. Who raises the children in your household? Man Woman Equal 33. Where do your parents live? 34. Do they give you financial support? Yes No 1 ...read more.

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