Functions of the Family
According to Murdock, there are four functions that every family needs in order to work properly. However, Parsons believes there are two functions needed to do this. In these three different types of family, whether each function is carried out will be explored.
The Nayar were a society in Southern India. In relation to Parson’s functions, there was no socialisation of children, as the husbands were not obliged to maintain the child as long as he gave vegetables and cloth to the midwife. In addition to this, the husbands were not expected to look after the family financially and even got frowned upon if he attempted to give them gifts, making the economic function fail. Murdock’s ‘sexual’ function falters the stability in a family as the male in the relationship would arrive at the home of one of his wives and sleep with her. Additionally, as the husband had several wives, this meant that the male slept with more than one woman, which doesn’t limit the sexual activity of other members of society. Although, this function meant husband and wife having sexual access to one another, which this society had. The ‘reproductive’ function refers to the bearing and raising of the couples offspring. Again, the Nayar society lacked this function as the husband had no input in the raising of children and the eldest brother in the family would take over as the leader of each group. As the male doesn’t act as a father, the ‘stabilization of the adult personality’ doesn’t work for him, although it works for the mother as she has the emotional security from the family.
In the Kibbutz society, the mothers and children did not have time for intimate relationships. However, this may not mean that the children aren’t learning about their society from the parents as educating children doesn’t necessarily require any intimacy. This also links in with Parsons’ primary socialisation of children. In addition to this, the children in the family are...