Family lone parent with dependent children. A

Family is a married or common law couple with or without children, or a lone parent with dependent children. A family is a universal institution and there are different types of families that are considered to be the correct way of living in a society. Universal family means a family that is found all around the world. There are tremendous variations of cultural understandings of families. The common families are the nuclear and extended families. But the definition of family can vary from person to person from around the world. The two main functions of family is nurturing children and economic cooperation.
Family as defined by George Peter Murdock in 1949, is a “social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults.” “The four main functions of a family according to Murdock was sexual gratification, reproduction, socialisation and economic cooperation.” (Thompson, 2008) He states that family consists of both sexes. Nowadays, there have been households with only one parent raising the children. This is what we now commonly term a ‘single-parent family’ but, Murdock’s definition does not include such types of families.” Single parenthood could be result of separation, divorce, the death of a partner or pregnancy out of marriage. Another type of marriage which does not fit Murdock’s definition of marriage would be same sex marriages. Though it is considered some places where it legal to be married to person with the same sex some cultures and countries don’t accept these type of families. Raising children in would not be socially approved in all cultures.
There are some cultures and societies that are not classified as families, for example the Nayar Families. In the 17th and 18th century men and the women did not live together after they got married. Women lived with their extended homes with their mothers and siblings. The male siblings played a father role to the kids of their sisters rather than their biological fathers. The women in the family played a powerful roles in their extended families. Both men and women were allowed to have more than one spouse. Women had more freedom to make their own decisions about sex and marriage. The four functions according to Murdock’s theory are not fulfilled, the reproduction and sexual gratification is fulfilled whereas the economic cooperation and socialization isn’t which would in turn be that they are not considered to be family.


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