A family can be defined in different ways; according to George Murdock ‘a family is a social group which is characterised by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It includes 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. ‘ ‘Hand out 5 THE FAMILY’ This statement portrays a very stereotypical family.
It states that a family must consist of a male acting as father, a female as the mother and a child.
This rules out homosexual couples, childless couples and also single parent families. There are a lot of people who disagree with this statement or they have different points of view on the topic. ‘The family is the basic unit of society.
It is a group of people who are usually related by birth, marriage or adoption. ‘ Minnett 2001’ Minnett has a wider view about the family and doesn’t make sweeping statements but leaves his comment open slightly by saying that usually the members are related.
A family can be split into many different sections.These sections include: Nuclear family Classic extended family Modified extended family Lone parent family Reconstituted family Symmetrical family The nuclear family consists of the parents living with just the children in one house.
It only contains two generations of parents and children and is therefore sometimes referred to as the two-generation family. The classic extended family is a larger family that is made up of lots of nuclear families. Unlike the nuclear family this family can include three or four generations of grand parents, parents, children and other relatives.Families that qualify to be in this section often live close together and see each other regularly.
The modified extended family are a close family theoretically but geographically they live far apart. These families stay close by regular contact via letters, phone calls, emails and visits. It has been recognised that this is the most common type of family in Britain at this time. The lone parent family is when there is only one parent raising the children.
This role can be filled by either the mother or the father.Single parent families can be caused by divorce or separation, death or a woman getting pregnant while not in a relationship. The reconstituted family is a second marriage for one or both of the adults, and they bring their children from a previous marriage with them in to the new marriage. These families often made from lone parent families or straight from a nuclear family in the case of an affair.
There are many different important functions in a family. Regulate sexual behaviour is essential in a family, by marking family members and including them in the family this reduces the chance of incestuous relationships.Restricting sexual activity to your own married partner there is less chance of disputes in the society and it will help reduce uncontrolled sexual activity. Reproduction is essential to keep the human race alive.
If the family is strong and stable then the child has a good chance of having a safe and secure upbringing a childhood. There is a great need in society to teach children what is socially acceptable way to act and behave. When everyone follows the same values and behaviour it enables the community to work together and avoid conflict as much as possible.The family is the first encounter a child has with socialization and how to act.
Money is an important factor in a family. Without money they will not be able to provide in the necessary ways. They will not be able to buy essential things needed such as clothing, shelter, food and many more. Therefore and income is needed to ensure that all the vital things are available.
Emotional support is important in a family. Contact with others outside the family is not always what it seems and can be superficial. Warmth and emotional support is often stronger from members of the family.Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman who usually love and care for each other.
It is a legal binding contract and a moral promise to each other to love and cherish each other till death do them part. New laws have been introduced to allow two people of the same sex to have a civil service which is like a marriage but slightly different. Lots of marriages do not last and end up in divorce. Divorce is much easier to achieve now than it was 20 years ago so it is an easier option for the couple to do rather than to try and work out their problems.
Marriage rates are dropping as many people are not getting married until later age and some not getting married at all. Divorce rates on the other hand are rising. The graph below proves my point about the divorce rates. Divorce graph from 1961 to 2005 ref http://www.
statistics. gov. uk/cci/nugget. asp? id=170 As you can see on the graph presented above divorce rates in 1961 were very low.
There was a dramatic increase between 1969 and 1974 and since then still rising slightly.Marriage rates from 1950 – 2005 As you can see from the graph above there was an increase of about 80 thousand between 1961 and 1972 only to be followed by a decrease between 1972 and 2005 taking the marriage rate lower than it was in 1950. The first marriage line on the graph follows the same trend as the all marriages line with the increase between 1961 and 1972 and the same decrease after that taking the rate in 2005 lower than the rate in 1050. Remarriage as you can see by the graph has unlike the marriage rate itself, has had an increase in the past 50 years by approximately 30 thousand.
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