Is the family universal?


Murdock (1949)

  • Functionalist sociologist.
  • Conducted a study in 1949 to discover if the family was universal.
  • He concluded that the family especially the nuclear family was prevalent in all societies.
  • I.e. the family was universal.
  • The family is essential for the maintenance and well being of society.
  • Only the nuclear family could adequately perform four functions that society needs to function:
  1. Primary socialization
  2. Reproduction
  3. Sexual
  4. Economic

Other supporters of Murdock's view

Morris (1969)

  • The nuclear family has naturally evolved over to be the most successful type of family in society today.



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