life and family

Topics: Marriage, Family, Sociology Pages: 2 (456 words) Published: October 22, 2013
Certainly the term 'family' has raised various debates in the modern society and as evident from the study of different cultures, there is now no clear taxonomy of a family unit. From a functionalists point of view, it is a unit of people bound together either biologically or by legal marriage. To support this theory, Murdock defines it as a group consisting of a sexually active heterosexual couple living with their biological or adopted children.(Haralambos M & Langley P).

However, in other cultures, such as the Sobtenga people of Burkina Faso, wealthy men practice polygyny, they can marry two or more wives and this is indisputably a norm within that society. Possessing a small number of cattle guarantees the security of the wives and this practice is supposedly more common than polyandry in that society.(Haralambos M & Langley P). Alternatively polyandry is habitual practice amongst the Todas of India and the Marquesan islanders. Two or more men marry one wife to combat the economic hardship of fending for a wife and offsprings .(Browne K.p253). Concentrating on the Zinacantepec community of southern Mexico enhances this argument. They don't focus the concept of the word family only as a parent-child relationship. Instead their basic social unit comprises of complex families, meaning a joint or multiple families related or not related, sharing a single dwelling.(Ponzetti J).

On the other hand, the premodern era in the British society was greatly dominated by the traditionally recognized nuclear family as the main definition of a family unit. Acknowledged the perfect nuclear family, the 'cereal packet family' is where the whole family gather at the breakfast table in the morning. Structurally, the husband is the bread winner and the wife's duties include housework and childcare.(Browne K). Return to the modern era, rapidly changing times and social standards mean we must reconsider Murdock's ideology of a 'family'. Argumentatively, individuals...
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