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

To what extent does a universal family exist?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Emma Micallef Topic: Family To what extent does a universal family exist? First to argue in favour of universality within the family is Murdock. After studying a sample of 250 societies he came to a particular definition of the family. The family is a social group that share a common residence, co-operate economically and produces offspring. It is also important that it includes adults of both sexes whose sexual relationship is socially approved, with one or more children, be they biological or adopted. He believes that the nuclear family exists in every society and it is where more complex family structures stem from. Hence Murdock strongly believes that the family is universal. ...read more.

Middle

The girls were however allowed to have up to 12 sexual partners what was referred to as visiting husbands whilst men were allowed as many sandbanham wives as they pleased. Therefore we note that such relations were not life-long and that the duty to produce offspring does not exist. Also the husband and wife do not form an economic unit in any way. This is known as a matrilineal society which means that family grouping is based on female relatives. Under Murdock's definition no family exists in the Nayar society. This is as only the women lived with the children and those who maintained an approved sexual relationship formed no economical unit. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are those who also argue that since a female headed family isn't the norm, than why consider it a family? Then again, couldn't it be recognized as an alternative family structure? Sheeron after all believes that the 'female carer-care' is the most basic family unit. Along these same lines we find the argument of Gay families. Gay families may have children from a previous marriage or may even adopt a child. Callhan argues that the households mentioned should still be viewed as families and states that if marriage were available such partners would marry. From these different insights into the concept of the universal family I believe that there is no true definition for the word family. In addition to this, universality of the family depends on how the family is defined and since there is no fixed definition there is no concept of the universal family. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology 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 GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Is the Nuclear Family universal?

    4 star(s)

    in that there is Economic cooperation, whether it be raising, feeding or housing the children; sexual relationships and reproduction between two adults and finally education in which a child goes through primary socialisation learning how to behave within a culture whether it be from the birth parents or others.

  2. To what extent do sociologists argue that the family is beneficial to society?

    Marxist-feminists, just like Engels, see the family as a stumbling block to female emancipation. They feel that the family is patriarchal. They argue that males dominate family relationships. Marxist-feminists such as Margaret Benston in 1969 also see the female as important to the needs of the capitalist economy as they

  1. Assess the Claim that the Nuclear Family is Universal.

    A sandbanham husband had no obligations within the relationship. His only strong ties were to the family in which he grew up, which included his mother and other relatives related through his mother, such as his sisters and brothers. The father was not socially important, and a man had no obligations toward his children.

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

    (Sociology Review, Issue 1, page 10-13) The Marriage debate. (Sociology Review, Issue 1, page28-29) Books & Studies Coleman J and Hendry L (1997) The Nature of Adolescence Giddens A (1992). The transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality Love and Eroticism in modern society (Polity Press) Jorgensen N Investigating Families and Households Murdock, G.P (1949)

  1. Homophobia: a Definition

    asked her out decided to take a ride on one of the horse-drawn carriages downtown, thinking it would be romantic. As a carriage drew up to the station, she noticed that the couple in it were two men, one with is arm around the other. "It was disgusting!" she exclaimed.

  2. Since the Industrial revelation the nuclear family has been recognised as the norm of ...

    Stage 2 was the early industrial stage from 1750 to 1900. This was the period in which home and work became separate and as factories excluded women, they became dependent on the men's wage. The 3rd stage is the modern industrial stage from around 1900.

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