Conduct an informal survey of ten people in your neighborhood or in an organization to which you
belong about the structure of their family of origin. Who do they consider to be in their family? What
relation do these people have to them? Did all of these people live in the same house? Who had primary
responsibility for caring for them as children? Who was primarily responsible for the financial well-
being of the family? For the emotional well-being of the family? Was the family closely connected to
extended family? If so, which extended family members and in what ways?
Compare your findings with your own. What do your findings lead you to surmise about what makes a
family? How closely do the families of your interviewees resemble the dominant notion of the nuclear
family -- a husband and wife (in their first marriage) and their two or three children? What do you think
is the impact of our stereotype of the nuclear family on social policy? How do you think this stereotype
affects real families dealing with the real problems of everyday family life. Be sure to include references.
Who do they consider to be in their family?
Person 1 (from Macedonia): My father, mother and my sister
Person 2 (from France): Parents, sister, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, great uncles, great aunts, and
Person 3 (from the US): I consider immediate relatives and close friends to be family to me.
Person 4 (from France): Parents, my brother, my sister, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles (1
Person 5 (from Germany): mother, father
Person 6 (from the US): mom, dad, sister (all immediate family)
Person 7 (from Macedonia): my parents, brother, Vuko (boyfriend), grandparents, my relatives: Lidija,
Zlatko, Toni and Victor, uncles and aunts, my best friends Bile and Irena, the Puckett family
(friends from Arkansas), my first neighbors in Macedonia- family Karanfilovski.
Person 8 (from Mexico): all my family that I see and talk frequently. Also, few friends that I met a long
time ago and I have a strong relationship with.
Person 9 (from France): Parents, brothers, grandparents, uncle aunts, first cousins
Me (from France): Parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, first cousins