Family revision.doc - STUDENT ID 50050400 Family Students...

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STUDENT ID 50050400 1 Family Students’ Name Institutional Affiliation
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STUDENT ID 50050400 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 32). Therefore, this institution has a lot of influence of how one interacts with the world, and how he or she derive meaning from the world around them. The family can be seen as group of people closely related either through marriage or blood (Merriam-Webster). It has always been assumed that the family is made up of two heterosexual couples with children. However, the issue of same-sex marriages is forcing sociologist to reconsider this view. Therefore, the definition of a family over time, has been changing due to changes in the social, religious, economic and cultural influences, and wider acceptability of those changes in the society. 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 18). 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 52). It is the extended family that shaped the worldviews of its members, and nuclear families were under pressure to act in conformance with the expectations of the extended family. Members of the big family knew each other, and there was a higher level of interaction and development of social skills which were imperative for survival. Members of this huge
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STUDENT ID 50050400 3 families cared for each other and there was a great sense of respect and affection (Walsh 72). Everyone knew what the other family members were going through, whether sickness or other challenges. Besides, there were loads of activities that brought whole families together, and everyone was part to these activities, including the children. This was because the economic situation was such that work was mostly manual, hence the need for more hands. Moreover, the fear of social and economic insecurities kept the nuclear families within these large extended families.
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