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AS Sociology at NSG

The Sociology of Family

Is the family universal? George Peter Murdock
Murdock studies social structure in a sample of 250 societies ranging from small hunting and gathering
bands to large scale industrial societies. Claimed that some form of family existed in every society and
concluded from…

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family consists of her child, as in the mother and her child, everyone else to be considered as
additional to the unit.
Matrifocal families are femaleheaded family units. Matrifocal families are common in low income
black communities in New World USA. 1985 51% black children lived only with mothers.


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2.`What are the functional relationships between the family and other parts of the social system?' It is
assumed that there must be a certain degree of fit, integration and harmony between the parts of the
social system if society is going to function properly.

3. To what extent is the…

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process? Or can it be a twoway process? I.e. the child who can twist their parents around their little

Critical views of the family (not in 6th Edition)

Edmund Leach Study: A runaway world? ­ Nuclear family in modern industrial society.
Isolated from kin and wider community. The family…

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monogamous nuclear family, sates instituted laws to protect system of private property and enforce
monogamous marriage, For monogamous marriages solves problem of inheritance of private property.
Property owned by males and in order for them to pass to heirs had to be certain of the legitimacy of
heirs. Monogamous marriages…

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this is for family NOT education

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