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FAMILIES AND HOUSEHOLDS
The experiences of the Ik suggest that family
life across the world is characterised by
tremendous VARIATION and DIVERSITY.
This has created problems for those
sociologists concerned with defining the
family.…read more

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GEORGE PETER MURDOCK (1949)
He defined the family as:
`a social group characterized by common
residence, economic co-operation 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'.…read more

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This only focuses on the nuclear family.
A stereotypical two generation family made up of a
mother, father, child or children. This definition of
the family has proved very popular with politicians
and right wing sociologists who suggest that this is
the `ideal' type of family to which people should
strive towards.
It was generally accepted that this family which
was the statistical norm until the 1980's should
have the following characteristics...…read more

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Should be small and compact in structure.
They should live together, i.e. share a common
residence.
The relationship between the adults should be
heterosexual. And based on romantic love. Children are
seen as the outcome of their love.
The relationship between the adults should be
reinforced by marriage, which it is assumed, encourages
fidelity (faithfulness).
Marriage should be companionate, i.e. based on
husband and wife being partners. Some natural
differences persist in the form of a gendered or sexual
DIVISION OF LABOUR with regard to DOMESTIC
LABOUR. It is taken for granted that women want to
have children and that they should be primarily
responsible for nurturing and childcare.…read more

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THE INFLUENCE OF THE
TRADITIONAL VIEW OF THE FAMILY
It can be argued that they constitute a powerful
CONSERVATIVE IDEOLOGY about what families
should look like and how family members should
behave.
For example:
The beliefs that the main responsibility for
parenting lies with mothers
That lone parents are not as effective as two
parents.…read more

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