This term from sociology refers to a household consisting of a mother, father, and a child or children.

By contrast, many families are more than just this nucleus. An extended family may include grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, or other relatives living in the same home. A blended family could also include a stepmother or stepfather, half-sisters and half-brothers, and so on.

{The word 'nuclear' here means 'central and elemental', not 'radioactive'. liveforever points out, however, that the term 'nuclear family' is also used in the media to refer to the nuclear club of nations with nuclear weapons.)

Examine different conceptions of the desirability of the Nuclear Family.

A nuclear family can be defined as parents and children living together in a home separate to the rest of their extended family. Functionalists believe that the nuclear family is the only acceptable family structure as it provides and supplies the needs of every member of the family. Radical Feminists have an entirely different view, believing that the nuclear family doesn’t benefit anyone, except the men of society.

Functionalists have a very clear view on the nuclear family. They believe that society actually benefits from the nuclear family because of what they provide. Functionalists feel that that the nuclear family help to educate children whilst stabilising adult personalities, which in turn benefits society greatly. This in turn is helping to train children who will become the workers of the next generation. Murdock, who is a functionalist, feels that nuclear families are an excellent role model for children; providing them with both a guide to follow their life by and values to believe in,.

We need to consider, however, if the values that he is setting are actually benefiting modern people. It is a well known that functionalists tend to generalise the “facts,” which they are trying to talk about. Murdock is trying to avoid real life situations, which arise quite frequently within families. He is practically ignoring the downsides of family relationships that can be seen through things like domestic violence.

However, Radical Feminists feel that the nuclear family is made to serve only the interests of men. This is because radical feminists believe that out society is very much a male dominated society (or Patriarchy), believing that women are exploited. Whilst the nuclear family carries on with the segregation of roles, these women feel that men are holding them back; so they are unable to become more independent. Radical Feminists argue that during industrialisation their job was simply named as “wife-mother” and they were not even given the chance to work. They also argue that nuclear families do not serve the needs of the whole society.

So, we can see that both views on the nuclear family are very different. Functionalists believe that nuclear families benefit society and Radical Feminists believe that the nuclear family exploits the women in society. Both views have good points as the nuclear family could provide a stable home for a child and its parents. However, we have to consider that these opposing opinions are, in fact, both correct but perhaps need to be less one sided in their argument. To conclude, we feel that with a mixture of both views would show that the nuclear family could be desirable with adaptation.

The Thanksgiving table had a white tablecloth. Mom set out her best china. Dad smoked his pipe. Josie and I got in our best sunday dresses because Dad and Mom liked when we got dressed up for the meal. Josie's had the bow in the back and she wore her shiny black flats.

The turkey was a 27 pound monster. Mom, who was dressed like Doris Day, took the turkey out of the oven and then wiped her hands on the apron. Dad did the carving. It was browned to perfection. Mom had jellied cranberries, mashed potatos, gravy (I LOVE her gravy!), and some sweet potatoes. She put the pumpkin pie in the oven for later. The house smelled wonderful.

Before the meal Dad asked me to give the blessing, so I did. "Lord Jesus, we thank Thee for Thy bounteous graciousness and goodness and ask that You take this food and use it to Your good will. We thank You for this time together and for the wonderful family You have blessed us with. Bless Mother and Father and Josie. Amen."

"Caroline, that was a very nice prayer," said Mom, "thank you." She looked at me approvingly. I glowed.

Dad and mom had white wine in longstemmed glasses and they toasted each other. We got to toast them with the water in our glasses. Thanksgivings always made me feel so special.

It was a great meal. Afterward, Josie and Mom and I cleaned up the table and Josie washed up. We told Mom we were going to wash up and that she should join Dad in the family room and watch television with him. He had his pipe going. When she tip tipped down the stairs and into the family room we heard it going a little bit quiet. We knew they were sneaking a kiss. They didn't want to do this in front of us, but we knew what was going on.

Josie rinsed off the plates and I loaded the dishwasher. It was an ordinary Thanksgiving afternoon when, suddenly,

We heard Mom scream.

She screamed this bloodcurdling scream. Josie dropped the glass into the sink and we both ran down the stairs to see what was going on. Our hearts pounded.

We saw Dad in his La-Z-Boy lounger, his head at an odd angle. He'd thrown up much of the meal - it was all over his lap. His eyes were glazed over, and his skin was pasty white.

Mom was looking at him horrified. "Oh Caroline, DO SOMETHING!" she screamed. The tears were smudging her makeup. Her lipstick would have to be redone.

I ran upstairs to the medicine cabinet and rummaged through the drugs. Josie and Mom were still downstairs crying. Finally, I found what I was looking for: a silvered tube with a highly reflective mirrored surface. I grabbed it and ran downstairs.

I grabbed Dad by the neck, my fingers feeling under his chin. Seconds were ticking by. I had to do this soon or we'd lose him.

My fingertips finally found the release switches I was feeling for. I pressed them, and his head smoothly swiveled off his neck. I quickly pulled out the old tube and inserted the new tube. His head swiveled back, clicked into place.

Three faces watched his, as his color slowly returned. His eyes flickered open.

We all breathed a sigh of relief. "Dad, that was too close. Next time you have to give me better warning," I said. I told Josie she could discard the old plutonium fuel canister.

Submitted in fulfillment of the annual Everything2 Halloween Noder throwdown, They Hunger For Nodes: An e2 Halloween Scary Story Quest

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