Is the Nuclear Family Universal
The nuclear family is universal in the sense that it exists as the building block and so recognises the possibilities of family beyond the nuclear structure. Such as extended families which mean three generations living under one roof. Polygamous family is when a man is married to more than one wife and also has children with more than one wife.
Murdock’s claimed that the nuclear family was a social group characterised by common residence. In cross cultural societies they would prove this claim wrong for example in Mexico the husband does not lift with the wife and their children and have no social contact. Also in Kibbutz children live in dormitories and not with their parents at all. Also in modern society a family can be split up by many factors such as prison. Also a very common on e now is by immigration restrictions and work.
Murdock also claimed that the family is an economic co-operation. This implies that there is a division of labour between male and female partners based on male hunters and female are the home makers. In other societies this claim would be ruled out because in Mexico the husbands gave token gifts but had no obligation to provide maintenance. Also in the Kibbutz the community share property and children are the responsibility of the whole group. Now days this claim would be proved wrong as most women have a job and also there is a domination of economic resources can occur when one partner uses family for personal gain.
Murdock also insisted that for a nuclear family the parents should be reproducing. This means that every parent should be looking after their own child. In the Trobriand Islands they have no idea of how children are procreated, this means that they are not reproducing. Also in Nayar any one of the visiting warriors may father the child, this means that any man could be fathering a child that is not his. This also excludes families who have foster children and are created by