Then, there are several empirical instances which show that in some societies there is relative absence of family. About 4 per cent of Israel’s populations live in some 240 kibbutzim settlements. Capital and property are collectively owned by kibbutzim members and the main economy is agriculture plus some light industry.
The ‘family’ in the kibbutzim has been shaped by a number of ideological and economic factors.
Marriage in these settlements is monogamous, the married couple sharing a single bedroom-cum-living room. Common residence does not extend to their children who live in communal dormitories where they are raised by child care takers or educators.
They eat and sleep in the dormitories spending most of the day and all of the night away from parents. They usually see their parents for an hour or two each day, often visiting them in their apartment. Economic cooperation between the married couple hardly exists.
Analyzing the absence of family in the kibbutzim, Haralambos observes:
In terms of Murdock’s definition, the family does not exist in the kibbutzim on two counts. Firstly, family members do not share a common residence. Secondly, their relationship is not characterized by economic cooperation.
It can only be concluded in the absence of the economic and educational functions of the typical family, as well as of its characteristic of common residence, that the family does not exist in the kibbutzim.
Despite the availability of some stray incidences, it could be safely said that family is the cornerstone of society and is found in one form or the other in all the communities known to us.
The debate on the existence of family or its erosion does not get much support. For one thing we are certain: children are not procreated in a factory-they are the outcome of the conjugal relations of two heterogeneous persons.