Assess the view that the family is found in every society. (24 marks) A family is a group of people that live together in the same household, they work together and pool their resources and to some extent they share domestic tasks and income. Families often reproduce and have children. They usually include an adult male and female who have a sexual relationship which is approved of by the wider society as it is often a marital relationship. This is Murdock’s definition of a family and is often considered to be a nuclear family. Murdock, a functionalist, based his definition on a sample of 250 societies which ranged from hunting and gathering bands to small-scale farming societies to large-scale industrial societies. He found a variety of family forms within his sample however each contained a basic nucleus consisting of a husband and a wife with one or more children, either their own or adopted. Murdock believed that the nuclear family is a universal social grouping as it is found in all societies. Aside from the nuclear family there are also extended families, these often contain relatives of kin either through blood or through marriage. This is often having aunties and uncles who become family through marriage and then have children to make the family bigger with cousins. These all stem off from the nuclear family. Families are also larger due to beanpoles, this is usually grandparents and grandchildren, and the family gets bigger due to different generations getting bigger. In the nuclear family it is usually a monogamous marriage that takes place, this is where a person only marries one person and this is considered the norm in many societies. In other societies polygamy is the norm. This is where a person is permitted to marry more than one person at a time for example in the Mormon society this is the norm. This often occurs in these societies as there is a shortage of men or women, due to the economic stability or to provide more children....
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