Assess the View That the Nuclear Family Functions for the Benefit of the Individual and Society

Topics: Family, Mother, Father Pages: 2 (576 words) Published: December 13, 2012
Assess the view that the nuclear family functions for the benefit of the individual and society

A nuclear family is universal and consists of a mother, father and their own/adopted dependant children all living in the same household. In this essay I will be assessing whether the nuclear family functions to benefit both the individual and society, in order to examine this efficiently I will be providing the points of view of the Marxists, Feminist and the Functionalist.

Functionalist take into consideration the positive aspects and functions the family provides for individuals and society. They mainly favour one type of family; which is the nuclear family, and they state that it is the ideal family type that will bring consensus to individuals and the society. Murdock is a functionalist who claims that family is universal, he supports his claim by providing evidence of a study he did, where he looked at a sample of 250 societies from hunting and gathering societies to modern industrial counties like the US, and he states he observed that family was present within all the societies, and family is required for the well-being of society and an individual. The study is very reliable the sample size is 250, which is high and he included all groups of people from all around the world to state it is universal. Murdock then concluded that all types of family fulfill four functions, which include: sexual-which is where the married adults enjoy a healthy sex life, reproductive- making the next generation of workers, Economic- provides food and shelter, Murdock usually portrays the man being the breadwinner and the women making the family and house, and Educational which in Murdock’s view means socializing. Murdock argues that the nuclear family is the most efficient arrangement for performing all of these vital functions. However this definition is criticized by many of being to narrow and mainly just supporting the nuclear family, because it clearly doesn’t include...
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