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In the book shifting the center, Murdock considers that a family is a social group that is defined via a common habitation, economic collaboration, and human reproduction. A family entails adults of both genders; two of these uphold a socially appropriate sexual relationship with a number of children either adopted or own. In accordance to Murdock, the utmost mutual endorsed type of family by many cultures is polygyny. Polygyny entails marriage of a man one or more female at the same time whereby the wives see each other as sisters. The wives are often sisters, who are anticipated to maintain similar ethics in their activities. However, most people live in monogamous families as Polygyny is regarded as a mark of status. Polyandry in a family entails a situation whereby a woman is married to more than one husband. Murdock suggests that polyandrous cultures degrade the social value of women.
The family theory of Murdock suggests that the family is collective and each family carries out three main roles namely: family alleviates sexual actions and human reproduction by offering basic necessities such as shelter and food. Murdock integrated main roles to a family as; Sexual Economic, Educational and Reproduction. These four roles are of great importance to families and the whole society. The Economic role involves men being responsible for the family’s basic needs and the wife and children staying at home doing the house chores. In my own viewpoint this role is way-out as it doesn’t resource to an upright description of a family. The Sexual role in a family entails a monogamous bond involving a nuclear family that is stable with no homosexual affairs in the society. The Reproduction role entails whereby one teaches his own children the cultures beliefs and norms which are later then passed to the next generations. The Education role entails children going to learning institutions acquire knowledge that will help them later in life via securing g of jobs or self employment. This is one of the most relevant roles in the contemporary society. On the other hand, it is unfair to stereotype women.