Definition of the Word Family - Essay Example

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The objective of this article is to draw attention to the different kinds of definitions of the family unit in regards to its functions, what it is, what it is not and according to how authorities define it. Family can be defined as the most fundamental unit…
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Definition of the Word Family
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Download file to see previous pages The paper tells that family means a number of different things to different individuals- family may cross a number of generations, change, as a result, of certain changes in life events such as remarriage, divorce and children relocating from their parental homes, and might even span several households. In most cases, people find it easier to define a family by not how it looks or how it is structured but by its roles and functions- supporting, loving, caring and protecting those in a family. In defining a family, it is essential to realize that children and marriage are not prerequisites for the formation of a family. In the past few years, there has been a development to a boost in the amount of childless couples and smaller families, as well as, lone- person families or households. It is also critical to remember that extended families might cross or span more than one household, and that individuals living by themselves are not necessarily living without families. More and more individuals are forming more than one family across their lifetime, because of the greater rates of re- partnering and separation. A number of types of families, and families at certain points in the family life- cycle, may have different needs, strength and vulnerabilities. Some of these include one- parent families, jobless families, indigenous families, families from different, diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, families with responsibilities in caring, and families in remote and rural societies. It is clear from the points noted here that family is a complex unit that has no one specific definition (Forbes 2-34). The purpose of this article, consequently, is to draw attention to the different kinds of definitions of the family unit in regards to its functions, what it is, what it is not and according to how authorities define it. In addition to this, the paper will benefit exceedingly from examples derived from the book Journey by Sonia Nazario, which is a story about a certain family that will serve as an excellent example of what a family is and of different kinds of families. Family can be defined as the most fundamental unit. It represents individuals living together by ties of blood, marriage or adaption, therefore, representing a single household. According to sociology, the family unit as a key role of reproducing and expanding the society, both socially and biologically. There are numerous different structure of families based on the associations that exist between parents and children. There are different kinds of families present which are determined by who makes up the family. There are those families that only consist of the father and children; others are consisted of the mother and children. Other families consist of a mother, her children and other people who are in most cases derived from the mother’s family. Other families consists one or more mothers living together with their children, with other people and their spouses (Fine 65- 79). In this case, an example is the family described in the book the Journey, which at first was composed of the mother and her two children and member’s of Lourdes’ family. Relationships that exist between a family, and those that determine the type of the family, are those mainly between parents and children and they are different from culture to culture. One of the most common family types is the nuclear family. This family type is composed of the marital couple living with their children separate from other individuals. The joint family usually is the extension of the nuclear family, and exists when children of one sex stay at their parental home. In such a case, the children bring along their spouses to live with them in their parental home even after marriage (Fine 65- 79). These are only handful cases of the numerous types of families. Other kinds of families include only child families, large families, single parent families, blended families, gay and lesbian parent ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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