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What is the sociological definition of a family? Show more Show less
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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?

Families are defined by what they do Show more Show less

Functionalists believe families are defined by what they do, rather than what they "are".
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Families preserve a state of equilibrium

Families are by design forces that preserve the status quo.

Context

The family exists as a sub-system in the much larger societal system.

The Argument

A family is the oldest and most resilient institution known to humankind. Families are the basic, foundational social units in all human communities are the world, and healthy individuals within healthy families are at the core of a healthy society.[1] Inheritance is a large part of a family system as it allows for familial ties to pass on. It functions on an economic level if wealth is available as well as on a material level if a house, car, or any other material is available for inheritance. Sociologists and anthropologists use two concepts about family: structure and function. The structure refers to the number of family members and familial positions such as mother, father, son, daughter, grandmother, etc. The function refers to how the family satisfies each other in maintaining their domestic structure, such as providing sustenance, building a home as a family, emotionally and physically supporting each other. [2]

Counter arguments

One must have to maintain a healthy relationship with all members of the family to preserve a state of equilibrium. Unhealthy or dysfunctional relationships can create terrible problems that may persist from one generation to the next.[3] Unhealthy relationships may also affect inheritance and how family wealth might be distributed amongst the members, leading to animosity and jealousy between siblings, parents, etc.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Inheritance is a sociological function of a family unit. [P2] Inheritance allows parents to pass their material wealth to other members of the family. [P3] This increases the likelihood that the family will retain its social and material standing in society. [P4] Therefore, the family is a force that preserves the status quo.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/pdf/g1890.pdf
  2. https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/orpc/vol6/iss3/3/
  3. https://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/pdf/g1890.pdf
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020 at 03:39 UTC

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