Family, my family & my house
- How can you define the family?
- What does family provide its members with?
- What are some family units / structures and what needs does the family fulfil?
- What role do some specialized institutions play? Are functions of the family influenced?
- Has the family composition changed in any way? Describe the developments.
- Are extended family households still popular?
- How did the family structures modify?
- Name some variations of the family unit.
- What does threaten the family system in developing nations?
- Describe a family member (appearance, character).
The family is the basic social group. Although it’s presented in all societies, the family structure and the needs that the family fulfils vary from society to society. Usually the main function of the family is the provision of love and emotional support by and all it’s members, especially children. Other family functions are for example economic production, education, religion and recreation. In these days many of the family functions are performed by specialized institutions like schools, old people’s homes or Churchs.
We can define family types according to the family structure. The nuclear family is the main unit in some societies and it consists of two adults and their two children. This type can be a subordinate part of an extended family, which also consists of grandparents and other relatives. Single parent family is a family where one of the parents is dead (mainly in the past) or where parents are divorced or unmarried. Childless families are families without any children. A stepfamily is created by the new marriage of a single parent. There can be some problems with relations in this family type especially when the family consists of two single parent families where children live together as siblings.
Today’s families are different in lot of ways thanks to ongoing changes in women’s roles, mass media influence and employment opportunities. The average number of children born to a woman fell from 7 in 1800 to 2 by the early 1990s in the United States. In early times, marriage normally dissolved through the death of a spouse. In these days parents often get divorced. The divorce between spuouses can be a much smoother with a prenuptial agreement (if both of them are reasonable). Present-day trend is not to get married and live together as a couple without any children. It’s a suitable way if two partners want to build their careers. It’s also very easy to live without having children due to the improved birth control and legalized abortion.
Developing countries have a big problem. They have too many children in families that their parents can’t feed them and it’s very hard to go study for them. They miss protection, love and whole normal live.