Family Exam



  • Looked at 250 societies
  • Claimed that some sort of family existed in each society


  • The Nuclear family is Universal
  • Either on it's own or part of an extended family


  • Murdock's definition of the family includes having at least one adult of each sex in it.


both today and in the past children have been raised in households that do not have adults of both sexes.

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  • Describes Indian women who have more that one husband
  • The husbands do not play on part in the upbringing of the offspring


  • Argues that the 'female carer core' is the most basic family unit
  • Children usually look up to one woman in their lives to take responsibility for their care


  • Argues that gay and lesbian household should be called families
  • This is because these couples are not significantly different to heterosexual ones.
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Criticism's of Murdock

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Family Functions

Murdocks's Family Functions

Sexual - Essential for the continuation of society

Reproductive - Essential for the continuation of society

Economic - Essential for survival

Educational -  Essential for passing on the culture of society to the next generation

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Family Functions

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