Cultural Diversity

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Can you help with this question?

Which of these scenarios best describes a nuclear family?

A) Jeremiah is growing up within a cluster of adults and children who maintain their own living quarters
but come together for work and meals. Child-rearing is a shared responsibility.

B) The Farrish family is comprised of ten-year-old Mary Beth and her mother who teaches at Ingleside High School.
Since Mary Beth's grandparents live
too far away to help,she goes to
after-school care until her mother picks her up after work.

C) Following an accident in which her
parents were killed,Josefina,age 6,
is taken in by her mother's sister
and brother-in-law and raised as one
of their own children.

D) Adam is a foster child currently
living with a family in which there
is a father, a stay-at-home mother,
and the couples's two children.

I know a nuclear family is a small isolated family consisting of a
father, mother,(or a single mother)
with one or two children.

I am thinking the correct answer would be: (D) Adam is a foster child
currently living with a
family in which there is
a father, a stay-at-home
mother, and the couple's
two children.

I am not real sure---- Please Help!

  • Cultural Diversity -

    Thank you for using the Jiskha Homework Help Forum. There are some good explanations of the "nuclear family" that might help you decide:



    I tend to believe as you do in D for the answer because it says there must be a mother, father, at least one child and the unit must be self sufficient.

  • Cultural Diversity -

    And, for the same reason, C could be the answer. The "extra strength" I see in C is that the child still lives with relatives, not a foster family.


  • Please Help---- I need help with this question----------------I am desperate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -

    Thanks for posting the sites for me to
    view-- however after veiwing them I've
    come to the conclusion C or D could be the correct answer. Please help!!!!

  • Cultural Diversity -

    What a quandry! Now I like C too!

  • Cultural Diversity -

    Rose, no need to put all those hyphens and exclamation marks in the Subject line. Those kinds of things turn potential readers off!

    Go with C; the child is with relatives in a "nuclear" family.

  • Cultural Diversity -

    The difficulty is that there are variations in the definition of nuclear family. Depending on the definition used, I could pick B, C or D.

    Here is one definition from Wikipedia:

    In its most common usage, the term "nuclear family" refers to a household consisting of a father, a mother and their children (siblings).[4] George Murdock also describes the term in this way:

    The family is a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It contains 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.

    Some also use the term to describe single-parent households and families in which the parents are a "non-conjugal" couple.

    However, after-school care (B) does not fit the definition.

    Since a foster child (D) only temporarily lives with that family, I would also tend to go with C.

    However, I believe that there is not one clear answer. I think all of the last three could qualify as "correct."

    To me, it seems to be more of a problem with the construction of the question than the ability of students...or other teachers.

    I hope this helps a little more. Thanks for asking.

  • Cultural Diversity -

    Innane government regulations have financially discouraged adoption of foster children, so many foster kids remain in "foster"homes forever. I know of several families wherein "foster"kids have been living in the family for several years. They fit into the family, and I think the fit the description of family members of a nuclear unit. I agree with PsyDag, there is not a clear answer, in the real world. Sometimes Texts simplify things so that clear answers happen, but in the real world, fuzzy reality takes over.

  • This is what my text states: -

    I am confused with this question!
    I can only choose one answer!

    Here is what my text states:

    The middle-class preference for relatively small nuclear families consisting of mother, father,(or a single mother),and two or three children, is unusual when compared with families from most other non-European
    backgrounds. Most cultures include maternal or paternal grandparents in the family structure,and even aunts,
    uncles, cousins, and close family friends. By comparison, the nuclear
    family is relatively isolated.
    Nonmainstream families view such family
    structures as lacking adequate social
    support for nurturing and caretaking young children. The reliance of mainstream families on child care provided outside the home by relative
    strangers is viewed as inapproprite.

    So, I do not know if C or D is the correct answer!

  • Cultural Diversity -

    I guess C or D could be a nuclear family- but- the question on my assignment was --
    Which best describes a nuclear family?

  • Cultural Diversity -

    Let's look at B again -- a mother and child with no other family members nearby. Your text says that a nuclear family may be only a single mom and child(ren). It also goes on to say that nonmainstream families view a nuclear family in which the child is taken care of by relative strangers as inappropriate. That again fits with B.

    I reject C and D because they aren't nuclear families by your text's definitions. In both instances the child is being cared for by people who are not their birth parents.

    That said -- I agree with the other teachers that there isn't a clear universal definition of nuclear family. As Bobpursley said, in the real world, the distinctions between different families is fuzzy.

  • Ms. Sue this is for you-please read -

    so, you are are saying (B) is the correct answer?

    Please,if you donot mind, explain to me again why you are saying (B) because I
    am not understanding what you are saying!

  • Cultural Diversity -

    Since the definition of nuclear family is vague and multi-faceted (having several different sides), I don't think you can get a certain answer from anyone.

    However, it is very likely that your teacher has a preference. Quit worrying about this one question and ask your teacher which s/he thinks is right and why. Let him/her know about the disagreements you encountered here.

    I hope this helps a little more. Thanks for asking.

  • Cultural Diversity -


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