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AbstractThe widely accepted hypothesis of the universality of the nuclear family in human cultures owes its popularity above all to the work of G.P. MURDOCK. Subjected to the test of a crosscultural, structural analysis of a selected number of societies the thesis is proved untenable.The nuclear family turns out to be neither a universal nor a prerequisite. This constellation is but one of a number of possible combinations of elementary dyadic relationship clustered around the fundamentaldoi:10.1515/zfsoz-1974-0401 fatcat:s2xim2pmprcxfhxbltsawkaudy