Family

Family

Overview
In human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 context, a family (from Latin: familia) is a group of people
People
People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:* as the plural of person or a group of people People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:*...

 affiliated by consanguinity
Consanguinity
Consanguinity refers to the property of being from the same kinship as another person. In that respect, consanguinity is the quality of being descended from the same ancestor as another person...

, affinity
Affinity
Affinity is a word used in a variety of fields, usually to indicate some kind of preference, relationship, or a potential or actual closeness between two entities.Articles dealing with various usages of the word: affinity include:-Commerce and law:...

, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children. Extended from the human "family unit" by biological-cultural affinity
Affinity (sociology)
Affinity in terms of sociology, refers to "kinship of spirit", interest and other interpersonal commonalities. Affinity is characterized by high levels of intimacy and sharing, usually in close groups, also known as affinity groups. It differs from affinity in law and canon law which generally...

, marriage
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

, economy
Economy
An economy consists of the economic system of a country or other area; the labor, capital and land resources; and the manufacturing, trade, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area...

, culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

, tradition
Tradition
A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes , but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings...

, honour
Honour
Honour or honor is an abstract concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual or corporate body such as a family, school, regiment or nation...

, and friendship
Friendship
Friendship is a form of interpersonal relationship generally considered to be closer than association, although there is a range of degrees of intimacy in both friendships and associations. Friendship and association are often thought of as spanning across the same continuum...

 are concepts of family that are physical and metaphorical, or that grow increasingly inclusive
Inclusive
Inclusive may refer to:* Inclusion * inclusive disjunction, A or B or both* inclusive fitness, in evolutionary theory, how many kin are supported including non-descendants* inclusive interval includes its endpoints...

 extending to community
Community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

, village
Village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

, city
City
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

, region
Region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

, nation
Nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

hood, global village
Global village
Global village may refer to:*Global village , a term commonly used to describe the societal and cultural effects of telecommunications.*Global Village , cultural, entertainment and shopping destination located at Dubailand in Dubai...

 and humanism
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

.
Discussion
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Quotations

When harmony, mutual consideration and trust pass out of the home, hell enters in.

David O. McKay, Pathways To Happiness, (1957), p. 296.

More often than not the people that you happen to be related to are your best friends… You can never really turn away from them, and you will always defend them to the best of your ability, they are your greatest resource, and the greatest love will come from them... that is family.

Jerry Grant Blakeney

"In other words, I don't think people ought to be compelled to make the decision which they think is best for their family." — George W. Bush :—Washington, D.C., December 11, 2002

The family is always the family but during vacations it is an extended family and that is exhausting.

Gertrude_Stein|Stein, Gertrude. Paris France. New York: Liveright, 1970. (p. 107)
Encyclopedia
In human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 context, a family (from Latin: familia) is a group of people
People
People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:* as the plural of person or a group of people People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:*...

 affiliated by consanguinity
Consanguinity
Consanguinity refers to the property of being from the same kinship as another person. In that respect, consanguinity is the quality of being descended from the same ancestor as another person...

, affinity
Affinity
Affinity is a word used in a variety of fields, usually to indicate some kind of preference, relationship, or a potential or actual closeness between two entities.Articles dealing with various usages of the word: affinity include:-Commerce and law:...

, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children. Extended from the human "family unit" by biological-cultural affinity
Affinity (sociology)
Affinity in terms of sociology, refers to "kinship of spirit", interest and other interpersonal commonalities. Affinity is characterized by high levels of intimacy and sharing, usually in close groups, also known as affinity groups. It differs from affinity in law and canon law which generally...

, marriage
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

, economy
Economy
An economy consists of the economic system of a country or other area; the labor, capital and land resources; and the manufacturing, trade, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area...

, culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

, tradition
Tradition
A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes , but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings...

, honour
Honour
Honour or honor is an abstract concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual or corporate body such as a family, school, regiment or nation...

, and friendship
Friendship
Friendship is a form of interpersonal relationship generally considered to be closer than association, although there is a range of degrees of intimacy in both friendships and associations. Friendship and association are often thought of as spanning across the same continuum...

 are concepts of family that are physical and metaphorical, or that grow increasingly inclusive
Inclusive
Inclusive may refer to:* Inclusion * inclusive disjunction, A or B or both* inclusive fitness, in evolutionary theory, how many kin are supported including non-descendants* inclusive interval includes its endpoints...

 extending to community
Community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

, village
Village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

, city
City
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

, region
Region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

, nation
Nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

hood, global village
Global village
Global village may refer to:*Global village , a term commonly used to describe the societal and cultural effects of telecommunications.*Global Village , cultural, entertainment and shopping destination located at Dubailand in Dubai...

 and humanism
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

. A family group consisting of a father, mother and their children is called a nuclear family
Nuclear family
Nuclear family is a term used to define a family group consisting of a father and mother and their children. This is in contrast to the smaller single-parent family, and to the larger extended family. Nuclear families typically center on a married couple, but not always; the nuclear family may have...

. This term can be contrasted with an extended family
Extended family
The term extended family has several distinct meanings. In modern Western cultures dominated by nuclear family constructs, it has come to be used generically to refer to grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, whether they live together within the same household or not. However, it may also refer...

.

There are also concepts of family that break with tradition within particular societies, or those that are transplanted via migration to flourish or else cease within their new societies. As a unit of socialization
Socialization
Socialization is a term used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, political scientists and educationalists to refer to the process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs and ideologies...

 and a basic institution
Institution
An institution is any structure or mechanism of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given human community...

 key to the structure of society, the family is the object of analysis for sociologists of the family
Sociology of the family
The Sociology of the family examines the family, as an institution and a unit of socialisation, through various sociological perspectives, particularly with regard to the relationship between the nuclear family and industrial capitalism, and the distinct gender roles and concepts of childhood which...

. Genealogy
Genealogy
Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members...

 is a field which aims to trace family lineages through history. In science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

, the term "family" has come to be used as a means to classify groups
Biological classification
Biological classification, or scientific classification in biology, is a method to group and categorize organisms by biological type, such as genus or species. Biological classification is part of scientific taxonomy....

 of objects as being closely and exclusively related. In the study of animal
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

s it has been found that many species form groups that have similarities to human "family"—often called "pack
Pack
Pack may refer to:* Backpack* Pack , family structure of wild animals of the biological family Canidae* Pack hunter, other animals that hunt in a group* Cub scouts group, or a group or gang in a larger sense, as in Leader of the Pack....

s." Sexual relations aong family members are regulated by rules concerning incest
Incest
Incest is sexual intercourse between close relatives that is usually illegal in the jurisdiction where it takes place and/or is conventionally considered a taboo. The term may apply to sexual activities between: individuals of close "blood relationship"; members of the same household; step...

 such as the incest taboo
Incest taboo
An Incest taboo is any cultural rule or norm that prohibits practices of sexual relations between relatives. All human cultures have norms regarding who is considered suitable and unsuitable sexual and/or marriage partners, and usually certain close relatives are excluded as possible partners...

.

Procreation



One of the primary functions of the family is to produce and reproduce persons, biologically and socially. Thus, one's experience of one's family shifts over time. From the perspective of children, the family is a "family of orientation": the family serves to locate children socially and plays a major role in their enculturation
Enculturation
Enculturation is the process by which a person learns the requirements of the culture by which he or she is surrounded, and acquires values and behaviours that are appropriate or necessary in that culture. As part of this process, the influences which limit, direct, or shape the individual include...

 and socialization. From the point of view of the parent(s), the family is a "family of procreation," the goal of which is to produce and enculturate and socialize children. However, producing children is not the only function of the family; in societies with a sexual division of labor, marriage
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

, and the resulting relationship between two people, it is necessary for the formation of an economically productive household
Household
The household is "the basic residential unit in which economic production, consumption, inheritance, child rearing, and shelter are organized and carried out"; [the household] "may or may not be synonymous with family"....

.

A "conjugal" family includes only the husband, the wife, and unmarried children who are not of age. The most common form of this family is regularly referred to in sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

 as a nuclear family
Nuclear family
Nuclear family is a term used to define a family group consisting of a father and mother and their children. This is in contrast to the smaller single-parent family, and to the larger extended family. Nuclear families typically center on a married couple, but not always; the nuclear family may have...

. A "consanguineal" family consists of a parent and his or her children, and other people. Although the concept of consanguinity originally referred to relations by "blood," cultural anthropologists have argued that one must understand the idea of "blood" metaphorically and that many societies understand family through other concepts rather than through genetic distance
Genetic distance
Genetic distance refers to the genetic divergence between species or between populations within a species. It is measured by a variety of parameters. Smaller genetic distances indicate a close genetic relationship whereas large genetic distances indicate a more distant genetic relationship...

. A "matrilocal" family consists of a mother
Mother
A mother, mum, mom, momma, or mama is a woman who has raised a child, given birth to a child, and/or supplied the ovum that grew into a child. Because of the complexity and differences of a mother's social, cultural, and religious definitions and roles, it is challenging to specify a universally...

 and her children. Generally, these children are her biological offspring, although adoption of children is a practice in nearly every society. This kind of family is common where women have the resources to rear their children by themselves, or where men are more mobile than women.

History of the family



The diverse data coming from ethnography
Ethnography
Ethnography is a qualitative method aimed to learn and understand cultural phenomena which reflect the knowledge and system of meanings guiding the life of a cultural group...

, history, law and social statistics, establish that the human family is an institution and not a biological fact founded on the natural relationship of consanguinity
Consanguinity
Consanguinity refers to the property of being from the same kinship as another person. In that respect, consanguinity is the quality of being descended from the same ancestor as another person...

.

Early scholars of family history applied Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

's biological theory of evolution in their theory of evolution of family systems. American anthropologist Lewis H. Morgan
Lewis H. Morgan
Lewis Henry Morgan was a pioneering American anthropologist and social theorist, a railroad lawyer and capitalist. He is best known for his work on kinship and social structure, his theories of social evolution, and his ethnography of the Iroquois...

 published Ancient Society
Ancient Society
Ancient Society is a book by the United States ethnologist Lewis H. Morgan and published in 1877. In this book, Morgan develops his theory of the three stages of human progress, i.e., from Savagery through Barbarism to Civilization...

in 1877 based on his theory of the three stages of human progress from Savagery through Barbarism
Barbarian
Barbarian and savage are terms used to refer to a person who is perceived to be uncivilized. The word is often used either in a general reference to a member of a nation or ethnos, typically a tribal society as seen by an urban civilization either viewed as inferior, or admired as a noble savage...

 to Civilization
Civilization
Civilization is a sometimes controversial term that has been used in several related ways. Primarily, the term has been used to refer to the material and instrumental side of human cultures that are complex in terms of technology, science, and division of labor. Such civilizations are generally...

. Morgan's book was the "inspiration for Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

' book" The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State published in 1884.

Engels expanded Morgan's hypothesis that economical factors caused the transformation of primitive community into a class-divided society. Engels' theory of resource
Resource
A resource is a source or supply from which benefit is produced, typically of limited availability.Resource may also refer to:* Resource , substances or objects required by a biological organism for normal maintenance, growth, and reproduction...

 control, and later that of Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

, was used to explain the cause and effect of change in family structure and function. The popularity of this theory was largely unmatched until the 1980s, when other sociological theories, most notably structural functionalism
Structural functionalism
Structural functionalism is a broad perspective in sociology and anthropology which sets out to interpret society as a structure with interrelated parts. Functionalism addresses society as a whole in terms of the function of its constituent elements; namely norms, customs, traditions and institutions...

, gained acceptance.

Kinship terminology


Archaeologist Lewis Henry Morgan
Lewis H. Morgan
Lewis Henry Morgan was a pioneering American anthropologist and social theorist, a railroad lawyer and capitalist. He is best known for his work on kinship and social structure, his theories of social evolution, and his ethnography of the Iroquois...

 (1818–1881) performed the first survey of kinship terminologies in use around the world. Although much of his work is now considered dated, he argued that kinship
Kinship
Kinship is a relationship between any entities that share a genealogical origin, through either biological, cultural, or historical descent. And descent groups, lineages, etc. are treated in their own subsections....

 terminologies reflect different sets of distinctions. For example, most kinship terminologies distinguish between sexes (the difference between a brother and a sister) and between generations (the difference between a child and a parent). Moreover, he argued, kinship terminologies distinguish between relatives by blood and marriage
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 (although recently some anthropologists have argued that many societies define kinship in terms other than "blood").

Morgan made a distinction between kinship systems that use classificatory terminology and those that use descriptive terminology. Morgan's distinction is widely misunderstood, even by contemporary anthropologists. Classificatory systems are generally and erroneously understood to be those that "class together" with a single term relatives who actually do not have the same type of relationship to ego. (What defines "same type of relationship" under such definitions seems to be genealogical relationship. This is problematic given that any genealogical description, no matter how standardized, employs words originating in a folk understanding of kinship.) What Morgan's terminology actually differentiates are those (classificatory) kinship systems that do not distinguish lineal and collateral relationships and those (descriptive) kinship systems that do. Morgan, a lawyer, came to make this distinction in an effort to understand Seneca inheritance practices. A Seneca man's effects were inherited by his sisters' children rather than by his own children. Morgan identified six basic patterns of kinship terminologies:
  • Hawaiian
    Hawaiian kinship
    Hawaiian kinship is a kinship system used to define family. Identified by Louis Henry Morgan in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, the Hawaiian system is one of the six major kinship systems .-Kinship system:Within common typologies, the...

    : only distinguishes relatives based upon sex and generation.
  • Sudanese
    Sudanese kinship
    Sudanese kinship is a kinship system used to define family. Identified by Lewis Henry Morgan in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, the Sudanese system is one of the six major kinship systems .The Sudanese kinship system is the most complicated...

    : no two relatives share the same term.
  • Eskimo
    Eskimo kinship
    Eskimo kinship is a concept of kinship used to define family in anthropology. Identified by Lewis Henry Morgan in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, the Eskimo system was one of six major kinship systems .-Kinship system:The Eskimo system places no...

    : in addition to distinguishing relatives based upon sex and generation, also distinguishes between lineal relatives and collateral relatives.
  • Iroquois
    Iroquois kinship
    Iroquois kinship is a kinship system used to define family. Identified by Lewis Henry Morgan in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, the Iroquois system is one of the six major kinship systems .-Kinship system:The system has both classificatory and...

    : in addition to sex and generation, also distinguishes between siblings of opposite sexes in the parental generation.
  • Crow
    Crow kinship
    Crow kinship is a kinship system used to define family. Identified by Lewis Henry Morgan in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, the Crow system is one of the six major kinship systems .-Kinship system:The system is somewhat similar to the Iroquois system, but...

    : a matrilineal system with some features of an Iroquois system, but with a "skewing" feature in which generation is "frozen" for some relatives.
  • Omaha
    Omaha kinship
    Omaha kinship is the system of terms and relationships used to define family in Omaha tribal culture. Identified by Lewis Henry Morgan in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, the Omaha system is one of the six major kinship systems which he identified...

    : like a Crow system but patrilineal.

Western kinship


Most Western societies employ Eskimo kinship
Eskimo kinship
Eskimo kinship is a concept of kinship used to define family in anthropology. Identified by Lewis Henry Morgan in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, the Eskimo system was one of six major kinship systems .-Kinship system:The Eskimo system places no...

 terminology. This kinship terminology commonly occurs in societies based on conjugal
Conjugal family
A conjugal family is a nuclear family of adult partners and their children where the family relationship is principally focused inward and ties to extended kin are voluntary and based on emotional bonds, rather than strict duties and obligations...

 (or nuclear
Nuclear family
Nuclear family is a term used to define a family group consisting of a father and mother and their children. This is in contrast to the smaller single-parent family, and to the larger extended family. Nuclear families typically center on a married couple, but not always; the nuclear family may have...

) families, where nuclear families have a degree of relative mobility. Members of the nuclear use descriptive kinship terms:
  • Mother
    Mother
    A mother, mum, mom, momma, or mama is a woman who has raised a child, given birth to a child, and/or supplied the ovum that grew into a child. Because of the complexity and differences of a mother's social, cultural, and religious definitions and roles, it is challenging to specify a universally...

    : a female parent
  • Father
    Father
    A father, Pop, Dad, or Papa, is defined as a male parent of any type of offspring. The adjective "paternal" refers to father, parallel to "maternal" for mother...

    : a male parent
  • Son
    Son
    A son is a male offspring; a boy or man in relation to his parents. The female analogue is a daughter.-Social issues regarding sons:In pre-industrial societies and some current countries with agriculture-based economies, a higher value was, and still is, assigned to sons rather than daughters,...

    : a male child of the parent(s)
  • Daughter
    Daughter
    A daughter is a female offspring; a girl, woman, or female animal in relation to her parents. The male equivalent is a son. Analogously the name is used on several areas to show relations between groups or elements.-Etymology:...

    : a female child of the parent(s)
  • Brother
    Sibling
    Siblings are people who share at least one parent. A male sibling is called a brother; and a female sibling is called a sister. In most societies throughout the world, siblings usually grow up together and spend a good deal of their childhood socializing with one another...

    : a male child of the same parent(s)
  • Sister
    Sibling
    Siblings are people who share at least one parent. A male sibling is called a brother; and a female sibling is called a sister. In most societies throughout the world, siblings usually grow up together and spend a good deal of their childhood socializing with one another...

    : a female child of the same parent(s)
  • Grandfather: father of a father or mother
  • Grandmother: mother of a mother or father
  • Cousin
    Cousin
    In kinship terminology, a cousin is a relative with whom one shares one or more common ancestors. The term is rarely used when referring to a relative in one's immediate family where there is a more specific term . The term "blood relative" can be used synonymously and establishes the existence of...

    s
    : two people that share the same grandparent
    Grandparent
    Grandparents are the parents of a person's own parent, whether that be a father or a mother. Every sexually-reproducing creature who is not a genetic chimera has a maximum of four genetic grandparents, eight genetic great-grandparents, sixteen genetic great-great-grandparents, etc...

    (s)



Such systems generally assume that the mother's husband has also served as the biological father. In some families, a woman may have children with more than one man or a man may have children with more than one woman. The system refers to a child who shares only one parent with another child as a "half-brother" or "half-sister." For children who do not share biological or adoptive parents in common, English-speakers use the term "stepbrother" or "stepsister" to refer to their new relationship with each other when one of their biological parents marries one of the other child's biological parents. Any person (other than the biological parent of a child) who marries the parent of that child becomes the "stepparent" of the child, either the "stepmother" or "stepfather." The same terms generally apply to children adopted into a family as to children born into the family.

Typically, societies with conjugal families also favor neolocal residence; thus upon marriage a person separates from the nuclear family of their childhood (family of orientation) and forms a new nuclear family (family of procreation). However, in the western society the single parent family has been growing more accepted and has begun to truly make an impact on culture. The majority of single parent families are more commonly single mother families than single father. These families face many difficult issues besides the fact that they have to rear their children on their own, but also have to deal with issues related to low income. Many single parents struggle with low incomes and must cope with other issues, including rent, child care, and other necessities required in maintaining a healthy and safe home. Members of the nuclear families of members of one's own (former) nuclear family may class as lineal or as collateral. Kin who regard them as lineal refer to them in terms that build on the terms used within the nuclear family:
  • Grandparent
    Grandparent
    Grandparents are the parents of a person's own parent, whether that be a father or a mother. Every sexually-reproducing creature who is not a genetic chimera has a maximum of four genetic grandparents, eight genetic great-grandparents, sixteen genetic great-great-grandparents, etc...

    • Grandfather: a parent's father
    • Grandmother: a parent's mother
  • Grandson: a child's son
  • Granddaughter: a child's daughter


For collateral relatives, more classificatory terms come into play, terms that do not build on the terms used within the nuclear family:
  • Uncle
    Uncle
    An uncle is a type of familial relationship.Uncle may also refer to:* Uncle , by J. P. Martin* U.N.C.L.E., a fictional organization in the TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E....

    : father's brother, mother's brother, father's sister's husband, mother's sister's husband
  • Aunt
    Aunt
    An aunt is a person who is the sister or sister-in-law of a parent. A man with an equivalent relationship is an uncle, and the reciprocal relationship is that of a nephew or niece....

    : father's sister, mother's sister, father's brother's wife, mother's brother's wife
  • Nephew
    Nephew
    Nephew is a son of one's sibling or sibling-in-law, and niece is a daughter of one's sibling or a sibling-in-law. Sons and daughters of siblings-in-law are also informally referred to as nephews and nieces respectively, even though there is no blood relation...

    : sister's son, brother's son, wife's brother's son, wife's sister's son, husband's brother's son, husband's sister's son
  • Niece: sister's daughter, brother's daughter, wife's brother's daughter, wife's sister's daughter, husband's brother's daughter, husband's sister's daughter


When additional generations intervene (in other words, when one's collateral relatives belong to the same generation as one's grandparents or grandchildren), the prefixes "great-" or "grand-" modifies these terms. Also, as with grandparents and grandchildren, as more generations intervene the prefix becomes "great-grand-," adding an additional "great-" for each additional generation. Most collateral relatives have never had membership of the nuclear family of the members of one's own nuclear family.
  • Cousin
    Cousin
    In kinship terminology, a cousin is a relative with whom one shares one or more common ancestors. The term is rarely used when referring to a relative in one's immediate family where there is a more specific term . The term "blood relative" can be used synonymously and establishes the existence of...

    : the most classificatory term; the children of aunts or uncles. One can further distinguish cousins by degrees of collaterality and by generation. Two persons of the same generation who share a grandparent count as "first cousins" (one degree of collaterality); if they share a great-grandparent they count as "second cousins" (two degrees of collaterality) and so on. If two persons share an ancestor, one as a grandchild and the other as a great-grandchild of that individual, then the two descendants class as "first cousins once removed" (removed by one generation); if they shared ancestor figures as the grandparent of one individual and the great-great-grandparent of the other, the individuals class as "first cousins twice removed" (removed by two generations), and so on. Similarly, if they shared ancestor figures as the great-grandparent of one person and the great-great-grandparent of the other, the individuals class as "second cousins once removed". Hence one can refer to a "third cousin once removed upwards."


Cousins of an older generation (in other words, one's parents' first cousins), although technically first cousins once removed, are often classified with "aunts" and "uncles." Similarly, a person may refer to close friends of one's parents as "aunt" or "uncle," or may refer to close friends as "brother" or "sister," using the practice of fictive kinship
Fictive kinship
Fictive kinship is a term used by anthropologists and ethnographers to distinguish between forms of kinship or social ties that are based on neither consanguinal nor affinal ties...

. English-speakers mark relationships by marriage (except for wife/husband) with the tag "-in-law." The mother and father of one's spouse become one's mother-in-law and father-in-law; the female spouse of one's child becomes one's daughter-in-law and the male spouse of one's child becomes one's son-in-law. The term "sister-in-law
Sister-in-law
A sister-in-law is the sister of one's spouse, the wife of one's sibling, or sometimes the wife of one's spouse's sibling...

" refers to three essentially different relationships, either the wife of one's sibling, or the sister of one's spouse, or, in some uses, the wife of one's spouse's sibling. "Brother-in-law
Brother-in-law
A brother-in-law is the brother of one's spouse, the husband of one's sibling, or the husband of one's spouse's sibling.-See also:*Affinity *Sister-in-law*Brothers in Law , a 1955 British comedy novel...

" expresses a similar ambiguity. The terms "half-brother" and "half-sister" indicate siblings who share only one biological or adoptive parent.

Family in the West


Kindship and family forms have often been thought to impact the social relations in the society as a whole, and therefore been described as the first cell or the building social unit
Social unit
Social unit is a term used in sociology, anthropology, ethnology, and also in animal behaviour studies, zoology and biology to describe a social entity which is part of and participates in a larger social group or society....

of the structure of a society.

Family types



The different types of families occur in a wide variety of settings, and their specific functions and meanings depend largely on their relationship to other social institutions. Sociologists have a special interest in the function and status of these forms in stratified (especially capitalist) societies. The term "nuclear family
Nuclear family
Nuclear family is a term used to define a family group consisting of a father and mother and their children. This is in contrast to the smaller single-parent family, and to the larger extended family. Nuclear families typically center on a married couple, but not always; the nuclear family may have...

" is commonly used, especially in North America and Europe, to refer to conjugal families. Sociologists distinguish between conjugal families (relatively independent of the kindred of the parents and of other families in general) and nuclear families (which maintain relatively close ties with their kindred). The term "extended family
Extended family
The term extended family has several distinct meanings. In modern Western cultures dominated by nuclear family constructs, it has come to be used generically to refer to grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, whether they live together within the same household or not. However, it may also refer...

" is also common, especially in North America and Europe. This term has two distinct meanings. First, it serves as a synonym of "consanguinal family" (consanguine means "of the same blood"). Second, in societies dominated by the conjugal family, it refers to "kindred
Kindred (disambiguation)
-People:*A group of related persons, see Kinship* Christopher Kindred * Kindred McLeary * Michal Kindred , IFBB professional bodybuilder...

" (an egocentric network of relatives that extends beyond the domestic group) who do not belong to the conjugal family. These types refer to ideal or normative structures found in particular societies. Any society will exhibit some variation in the actual composition and conception of families. Much sociological, historical and anthropological
Cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans, collecting data about the impact of global economic and political processes on local cultural realities. Anthropologists use a variety of methods, including participant observation,...

 research dedicates itself to the understanding of this variation, and of changes in the family that form over time. Thus, some speak of the bourgeois family, a family structure arising out of 16th- and 17th-century European households, in which the family centers on a marriage between a man and woman, with strictly defined gender-roles. The man typically has responsibility for income and support, the woman for home and family matters.

According to the work of scholars Max Weber
Max Weber
Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

, Alan Macfarlane
Alan Macfarlane
Alan Donald James Macfarlane FBA FRHistS is a renowned anthropologist and historian and a Professor Emeritus of King's College, Cambridge. He is the author or editor of 20 books and numerous articles on the anthropology and history of England, Nepal, Japan and China. He has focused on comparative...

, Steven Ozment
Steven Ozment
Steven E. Ozment is an American historian of early modern and modern Germany, the European family, and the Protestant Reformation....

, Jack Goody
Jack Goody
Sir John Rankine Goody is a British social anthropologist. He has been a prominent teacher at Cambridge University, he was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1976, and he is an associate of the US National Academy of Sciences...

 and Peter Laslett
Peter Laslett
-Biography:Born Thomas Peter Ruffell Laslett and educated at the Watford Grammar School for Boys, Peter Laslett studied history at St John's College, Cambridge in 1935 and graduated with a double first in 1938. During the war he learned Japanese and worked at Bletchley Park and Washington decoding...

, the huge transformation that led to modern marriage in Western democracies was "fueled by the religio-cultural value system provided by elements of Judaism, early Christianity, Roman Catholic canon law and the Protestant Reformation".

In contemporary Europe and North America, people in academic, political and civil sectors have called attention to single-father-headed households, and families headed by same-sex couples, although academics point out that these forms exist in other societies. Also the term blended family or stepfamily
Stepfamily
A stepfamily, also known as a blended family or reconstituted family, is a family in which one or both members of the couple have children from a previous relationship...

describes families with mixed parents: one or both parents remarried, bringing children of the former family into the new family. Also in sociology, particularly in the works of social psychologist Michael Lamb, traditional family refers to "a middleclass family with a bread-winning father and a stay-at-home mother, married to each other and raising their biological children," and nontraditional to exceptions from this rule. Most of the US households are now non-traditional under this definition.

In terms of communication patterns in families, there are a certain set of beliefs within the family that reflect how its members should communicate and interact. These family communication patterns arise from two underlying sets of beliefs. One being conversation orientation (the degree to which the importance of communication is valued) and two, conformity orientation (the degree to which families should emphasize similarities or differences regarding attitudes, beliefs, and values).

Sociological views


Contemporary society generally views family as a haven from the world, supplying absolute fulfillment. The family is considered to encourage "intimacy, love
Love
Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels...

 and trust where individuals may escape
Escapism
Escapism is mental diversion by means of entertainment or recreation, as an "escape" from the perceived unpleasant or banal aspects of daily life...

 the competition of dehumanizing forces in modern society." During industrialization, "[t]he family as a repository of warmth and tenderness (embodied by the mother) stands in opposition to the competitive and aggressive world of commerce (embodied by the father). The family's task was to protect against the outside world." However, Zinn and Eizen note, "The protective image of the family has waned in recent years as the ideals of family fulfillment have taken shape. Today, the family is more compensatory than protective. It supplies what is vitally needed but missing in other social arrangements."

"The popular wisdom," Zinn and Eitzen say, is that the family structures of the past were superior to those today and families were more stable and happier at a time when they did not have to contend with problems such as illegitimate children and divorce
Divorce
Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

. They respond to this, saying, "there is no golden age of the family gleaming at us in the far back historical past." "Desertion by spouses, illegitimate children, and other conditions that are considered characteristics of modern times existed in the past as well."

Still others argue that whether or not we view the family as "declining" depends on our definition of "family." The high rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births indicate a decline in the institution of the family. No longer are marriages arranged for political or economic gain, and children are not expected to contribute to family income. Instead, people choose mates based on love. This increased role of love indicates a societal shift toward favoring emotional fulfillment and relationships within a family, and this shift necessarily weakens the institution of the family.

Oedipal family model and fascism


The model, common in the western societies, of the family triangle, husband-wife-children isolated from the outside, is also called the oedipal model of the family, and it is a form of patriarchal family. Many philosophers and psychiatrists analyzed such a model. One of the most prominent of such studies is Anti-Œdipus
Anti-Œdipus
Anti-Oedipus is a book by the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and the psychoanalyst Félix Guattari. It is the first volume of Capitalism and Schizophrenia, the second being A Thousand Plateaus ....

by Deleuze
Gilles Deleuze
Gilles Deleuze , was a French philosopher who, from the early 1960s until his death, wrote influentially on philosophy, literature, film, and fine art. His most popular works were the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus , both co-written with Félix...

 and Guattari
Félix Guattari
Pierre-Félix Guattari was a French militant, an institutional psychotherapist, philosopher, and semiotician; he founded both schizoanalysis and ecosophy...

 (1972). Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault , born Paul-Michel Foucault , was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas...

, in its renowned preface, remarked how the primary focus of this study is the fight against contemporary fascism
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

.
In the family, they argue, the young develop in a perverse relationship, wherein they learn to love the same person who beats and oppresses them. The family therefore constitutes the first cell of the fascist society, as they will carry this attitude of love for oppressive figures in their adult life. Fathers torment their sons. Deleuze and Guattari, in their analysis of the dynamics at work within a family, "track down all varieties of fascism, from the enormous ones that surround and crush us to the petty ones that constitute the tyrannical bitterness of our everyday lives".

As it has been explained by Deleuze, Guattari and Foucault, as well as other philosophers and psychiatrists such as Laing
Ronald David Laing
Ronald David Laing was a Scottish psychiatrist who wrote extensively on mental illnessin particular, the experience of psychosis...

 and Reich
Wilhelm Reich
Wilhelm Reich was an Austrian-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, known as one of the most radical figures in the history of psychiatry...

, the patriarchal-family conceived in the West tradition serves the purpose of perpetuating a propertarian and authoritarian society. The child grows according to the oedipal model, which is typical of the structure of capitalist societies, and he becomes in turn owner of submissive children and protector of the woman.

Some argue that the family institution conflicts with human nature and human primitive desires and that one of its core functions is performing a suppression of instincts, a repression of desire commencing with the earliest age of the child. As the young undergoes physical and psychological repression
Psychological repression
Psychological repression, also psychic repression or simply repression, is the psychological attempt by an individual to repel one's own desires and impulses towards pleasurable instincts by excluding the desire from one's consciousness and holding or subduing it in the unconscious...

 from someone for whom they develop love, they develop a loving attitude towards authority figures. They will bring such attitude in their adult life, when they will desire social repression
Social control
Social control refers generally to societal and political mechanisms or processes that regulate individual and group behavior, leading to conformity and compliance to the rules of a given society, state, or social group. Many mechanisms of social control are cross-cultural, if only in the control...

 and will form docile subjects for society. Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault , born Paul-Michel Foucault , was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas...

, in his systematic study of sexuality
Sexology
Sexology is the scientific study of human sexuality, including human sexual interests, behavior, and function. The term does not generally refer to the non-scientific study of sex, such as political analysis or social criticism....

, argued that rather than being merely repressed, the desires of the individual are efficiently mobilized and used, to control the individual, alter interpersonal relationships and control the masses. Foucault believed organized religion, through moral
Moral
A moral is a message conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a story or event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly encapsulated in a maxim...

 prohibition
Prohibition
Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, is the practice of prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, import, export, sale, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The term can also apply to the periods in the histories of the countries during which the...

s, and economic power
Economic power
There is no agreed-upon definition of power in economics. At least five definitions of power have been used:*Purchasing power, i.e., the ability of any amount of money to buy goods and services. Those with more assets, or, more correctly, net worth, have more power of this sort...

s, through advertising
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

, make use of unconscious sex drives. Dominating desire, they dominate individuals. According to the analysis of Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault , born Paul-Michel Foucault , was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas...

, in the west:

Size


Natalism
Natalism
Natalism is a belief that promotes human reproduction. The term is taken from the Latin adjective form for "birth", natalis. Natalism promotes child-bearing and glorifies parenthood...

 is the belief
Belief
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.-Belief, knowledge and epistemology:The terms belief and knowledge are used differently in philosophy....

 that human reproduction
Human reproduction
Human reproduction is any form of sexual reproduction resulting in the conception of a child, typically involving sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. During intercourse, the interaction between the male and female reproductive systems results in fertilization of the woman's ovum by the...

 is the basis for individual existence, and therefore promotes having large families. Many religions, e.g., Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, encourage their followers to procreate and have many children. In recent times, however, there has been an increasing amount of family planning
Family planning
Family planning is the planning of when to have children, and the use of birth control and other techniques to implement such plans. Other techniques commonly used include sexuality education, prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections, pre-conception counseling and...

 and a following decrease in the total fertility rate
Total Fertility Rate
The total fertility rate of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime if she were to experience the exact current age-specific fertility rates through her lifetime, and she...

 in many parts of the world, in part due to concerns of overpopulation
Overpopulation
Overpopulation is a condition where an organism's numbers exceed the carrying capacity of its habitat. The term often refers to the relationship between the human population and its environment, the Earth...

. Many countries with population decline
Population decline
Population decline can refer to the decline in population of any organism, but this article refers to population decline in humans. It is a term usually used to describe any great reduction in a human population...

 offer incentives for people to have large families as a means of national efforts to reverse declining populations.

Further reading


External links