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< Back to question What is the sociological definition of a family? Show more Show less

The concept of “family” has evolved in recent decades. The intolerant view of a nuclear family, where a man and woman in wedlock have children and the male provides while the female undertakes child care responsibilities, no longer applies to many modern family units. So, what is a family?

It depends on the type of family and approach Show more Show less

The sociological definition of a family varies depending on the type of family.
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Families of orientation vs families of procreation

There is an important difference between the family you are born into, and the family you create with a lover.
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Context

There are two types of families and each one has its own sociological definition.

The Argument

A family of orientation is the family that a child is born into. This may be characterized by blood relations. A family or procreation is one that is formed through marriage. These distinctions are important when defining the sociological constructs of a family. Each family has its own criteria and must be considered as different sociological groupings. [1]

Counter arguments

While the distinction between families of orientation and procreation makes sense on an individual level, it does not make sense on a macro level. Beyond the individual, both families likely function the same way. They probably interact with society in the same way, and have many similar characteristics. Therefore, a sociological definition can be developed that is inclusive of both types of family.

Premises

[P1] The family you are born into has a different dynamic to the one you enter into when you procreate. [P2] Therefore, one sociological definition of a family cannot apply to both. [P3] Therefore, the sociological definition of a family depends on the type of family under consideration.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] The two types of family are different from the perspective of the individual, but not in the way they function or interact with wider society.

References

  1. https://opentextbc.ca/introductiontosociology2ndedition/chapter/chapter-14-marriage-and-family/

This page was last edited on Monday, 29 Jun 2020 at 00:34 UTC

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