“The family is the first essential cell of human society.” – Pope John XXIII. This essay will discuss Murdock’s definition of family and the four functions regarding family. This will be done by examining the way in which Murdock viewed family and by scrutinizing the reproductive, sexual, economic and educational functions of the family.
George Murdock (social structure, 1949) elucidated family as “a social group characterised 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.”. According to George Murdock, the family is cohabitation, financial undertaking, and a social gather characterized by breeding. It incorporates adult males and females (at least two of them sustaining a socially recognized sexual relationship) and one or more children receiving grown-ups with sexual companions.
Murdock recognized likewise between nuclear families (parents and their kids, own or adopted) and extended families (parents, grandparents, kids, aunts and other relatives). Murdock additionally contended that “the nuclear family is a universal social grouping. Either as the sole prevailing form of the family or as the basic unit from which more complex forms are compounded, it exists as a unique and strongly functional group in every known society”. Murdock contends that the nuclear family is a universal structure (it exists all over the place) and performs four significant functions –sexual regulation, reproduction, economic functions and educational tasks.