5 pages family.docx - Running Head Family 1 Family Name...

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Running Head: Family 1 Family Name Institutional Affiliation Date
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Family 2 Family The family is the most important institution in the life of an individual. It is within the family that an individual adopts cultural beliefs that define their perceptions about the world around them. Some of these beliefs stay with individuals throughout their lifetime (Hareven, 2013). Therefore, this institution called the family has a lot of influence of how one interacts with the world, and how they derive meaning from the world around them. Merriam-Webster (2017) denotes that a family is a group of people closely related either through marriage or blood. It has always been assumed that the family is made up of two heterosexual couples with children (Walsh, 2015). However, the issue of same-sex marriages is forcing sociologist to reconsider this definition. This paper shall be based on a thesis that over the last century, the definition of what makes a family has tended to vary depending on social, religious, economic and cultural issues as well as developments that take place around those issues (Steinmetz & Sussman, 2013). About a century ago, family life was defined in the context of an extended family. An extended family is a group of persons with common ancestry living together (Hareven, 2013). Such a family brought together several nuclear families to form one big extended family. A nuclear family is made up of the father, mother, and children. It is instructive to note that even though an extended family defined relationships, its foundation was the nuclear families making it. More importantly, the nuclear families were strictly made up of heterosexual couples with children (Steinmetz & Sussman, 2013). It is the extended family that shaped the worldviews of its members, and nuclear families were under pressure to conform to the expectations of the extended family. Members of this big family knew each other, and there was a higher level of interaction and social skills which were imperative for survival. Walsh (2015) observes that the
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Family 3 members of this huge families cared for each other and there was a great sense of respect and affection. Everyone knew what the other family was going through, be it sickness or other challenges. Besides, there were loads of activities that brought whole families together, and everyone was party to these activities, including the children. The economic situation was such
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