Families and Blood Ties

Topics: Family, Anthropology, Marriage Pages: 3 (1013 words) Published: December 3, 2012
Many social scientists reject the idea that ‘families can be defined only by blood ties.’ Discuss.

The Oxford Dictionary meaning of family is noun (plural families) 1 [treated as singular or plural] a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit. There are many different ideas about what makes a family, and is this idea of what a family is universal and the children’s perspectives. There is a lot of debate with social scientists about the family. Functionalists say that the term family is a universal institution performing functions for society’s survival. Sociologist Murdock suggest that each family has for functions in order to be classified as a family. They are, a common residence, however there are many cases in which families do not share a common residence for example if a child is at boarding school or a parent is in the armed forces. (Murdock, cited by Gittins, D, p.2). (Gutman 1976) found that it was common among black slave families in the USA for a husband and wide to live on different plantations and see one another for a few hours once or twice a week.( Soliende de Gonzalez cited by gittins) found this type of household very common in black Carib society: “there are groupings which I have called “dispersed families” in which the father, even though he is absent for long periods of time he still retains ultimate authority over a household for which he provides the only support, and where affective bonds continue to be important between him and his wife and his children”. (Mudock cited by Gittins p.2) next family function is economic co-operation, it’s a broad term and can encompass a wide range of activities such as sleeping and cooking, it occurs between households as well as between individuals within the household (Murdock cited by Gittins p.4) third is his definition of sexuality is heterosexuality, even though this is only one of many forms of sexuality. They say that this is the most important function of a...
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