Ch. 13 · Family and Religion
Family and Religion
The Family: Basic Concepts
is a social institution, found in all societies, that unites individuals into
cooperative groups that oversee the bearing and raising of children. Family ties are also
, a social bond based on blood, marriage, or adoption. In the United
States, most people regard a
as a social group of two or more people, related by
blood, marriage, or adoption, who usually live together. Families form around
a legally sanctioned relationship, usually involving economic cooperation, as well as
sexual activity and childbearing, that people expect to be enduring.
Family: Global Variations
In preindustrial societies people take a broad view of family ties, recognizing the
, a family unit that includes parents and children as well as other kin.
With industrialization, increasing social mobility and geographic migration give rise to
, a family unit composed of one or two parents and their children.
Cultural norms, and often laws, identify people as suitable or unsuitable
marriage partners. Some norms promote
, marriage between people of
the same social category. By contrast,
refers to marriage between
people of different social categories. In high-income nations, laws prescribe
, marriage uniting two partners. Many lower-income countries permit
, marriage that unites three or more people.
In some societies, married couples live with or near the husband’s family, termed
. In other societies, couples live with or near the wife’s family,
. Industrial societies display a pattern of
meaning a married couple lives apart from both sets of parents.
Patterns of Descent
refers to the system by which members of a society trace kinship over
generations. Most preindustrial societies trace kinship through just the father’s or
the mother’s side of the family; respectively,
Industrial societies recognize
descent, meaning both the father’s side
and the mother’s side of the family
Patterns of Authority
Most societies in history have displayed a
pattern of authority; no