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Unformatted text preview: What Are The Functions of Families? In studying the family, Functional Theorists have identified some common and nearly universal family functions. That means almost all families in all countries around the world have at least some of these functions in common: Table 2 shows many of the global functions of the family: Table 2. Global Functions of the Family • Economic support - food, clothing, shelter, etc... • Emotional support - intimacy, companionship, belonging, etc... • Socialization of child - raising children, parenting • Control of sexuality - defines and controls when and with whom (IE: marriage) • Control of reproduction - the types of relationships where children should/could be born • Ascribed status - contexts of race, socioeconomic status, religion, kinship, etc. By far, economic support is the most common function of today’s families. When your parents let you raid their pantry, wash clothes in their laundry, or replenish your checking account that’s economic support. For another young adult, say in New Guinea, if she captures a wild animal which is cooked on an open fire, that’s also economic support in a different cultural context. I’ve always been amazed at how far family economic cooperation extends. Some families cooperate in business-like relationships. In Quebec, Montreal there is an established pattern of Italian in business-like relationships....
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- Fall '10
- Anthropology, unwed mothers