Is the Nuclear Family Universal?

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Is the nuclear family universal?

This essay will explore whether the nuclear family is in fact a universal sociological institution. The term 'universal' means applicable to all cases, so, for this to be correct the nuclear family must be found in all families in every society. Nuclear family consist a husband and wife and one or more children, own or adopted, it is defined by Murdock and according to him, he believed that the nuclear family is 'a universal social grouping.'

Functionalist George Murdock suggested an idea of universality of the family as family is the basic and vital institution in all societies. He looked at 250 societies and found four the most significant functions of the family: sexual, economic, reproduction and socialization. These functions are essential and meet needs in all societies and institution who best fits in performing them is family. Murdock defined the family as social group characterized by common residence, consisting of adults of both sexes and dependant children.

There are statistics that suggest the diversity of families is developing, such as cohabiting, single-parent and reconstituted homosexual families.

All evidences seem to prove that nuclear family is not the dominant type of family. However, living in a nuclear family is a phase that most people, as children and adults, go through in the course of their life.The Government seems to be more preferable to nuclear family, as the nuclear family can be a nurturing environment in which to raise children as long as there is love, time spent with children, emotional support, low stress, and a stable economic environment. So, although there is an increasing diversity of family, nuclear family is still universal.

The nuclear family is promoted by politicians and media. For example, Labour policy Supporting Families (1998) suggested different ways of all types of families. However Labours also pointed out that preferred type will be nuclear. Media created...
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