Society is viewed in many different ways. Some sociologists see the world basically as a
stable and ongoing entity (Schaefer, 2009, p. 14). While others sociologists see society as
composed of many groups in conflict, competing for scarce resources. The most fascinating
aspects of the social world are the everyday, routine interactions among individuals that we
sometimes take for granted (Schaefer, 2009, p. 14). Family may signify different concepts to
different people, but it is the most important part of every culture. Most people define the word
family as a unity within a group of people who care, nurture and tend to each other’s needs, at
the same time creating an everlasting bond. The functionalist perspective proves that the family
is the heart of the society. Family is an exclusive society, which is broken down into three
groups; immediate, extended and inclusive.
Your immediate family would normally include a father, mother, and kid(s); the extended
family members would be grandparents, aunts, uncle, cousins, and in-laws and inclusive family
members are chosen family members such as friends, church members and community members.
Most people view family as the nuclear family which is “a married couple and their unmarried
children living together” (Schaeffer, 2009, p. 289). The nuclear family was once considered the
norm for a family structure, but what once the nuclear family was, is now comprised of a variety
of combinations from blended, single and homosexual families. In today's society due to divorce
and the rise of teenage pregnancy, single-parent families, are not uncommon.
Extended family is referred to as, a family in which relatives such as grandparents, aunts, or
uncles; live in the same home as parents and their children. Although not common, such living
arrangements do exist in the United States (Schaefer, 2009, p. 289). The structure of the
extended family offers certain advantages over that of the nuclear family. Crises such as death,
divorce, and illness put less strain on family members, since more people can provide assistance