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Unit 1-Families and Households
Definitions and Universality
Defining the family- Murdock (1949) - "The family is a social group
characterised by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction.
It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially
approved sexual relationship."
Typical characteristics of families-
Family members…

Page 2

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Murdock's reply to the criticisms- Some sociologists see all families as
extensions or reductions of the nuclear family. But it is not universally agreed
that various family forms are adaptations of the nuclear family.
The New Right-There is a universal tendency for human beings to form
family structures. However there…

Page 3

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Some women in Tahiti may have one or two children whom they give up for
adoption before they have a `real' family. This shows that mother- child
relationships often do not form as a result of biology, but as a result of
upbringing; the children are usually closer to their…

Page 4

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Example question;(KAFAM1) Using the Item and other material, assess the
view that the family is found in every society. (Tip, follow the structure of the
notes above)
Item B;
Among the Nayar of South-west India before the nineteenth century there
was no such thing as the nuclear family. A woman…

Page 5

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Who doesn't believe that the family is universal?
However Marxists
In addition Feminists
Interactionists- Use the Item here The Ik - it relates to Edholm, who is an
Interactionist
Conclusion- Is the family really relevant? If it is not universal is there much point
in defining it?
(Use the notes…

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