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?
Family is the setting for socializing children
Family is the name we give to the setting in which we socialize children.
Families can take many forms
Families can be biologically related, adoptive, or fostered. They can feature distant relatives or a "nuclear" family of two parents of any sexes. Whatever the form, provided it is socializing children, it can still be classified as a family.
Family means a shared residence, economic cooperation, and reproduction
A classic sociological definition of the family was put forward by George Peter Murdock. He asserted that families shared a residence, were somewhat economically integrated, and are built around the reproductive relationship of the parents.
Families share these factors across cultures
These three pillars of a family are visible across cultures.
The family is responsible for producing new members
Families create new family members through procreation. Producing offspring is a fundamental necessity for life, and the family fulfills the role of procreation, raising children, and furthering human life for generations.
Family is the physical and economic dependency on other individuals.
Families are dependent on each other for multiple forms of support.
Families are dependent on its members for survival in physical, emotional, and economic ways. Parents birth, nurse, and feed their children. Parents offer economic support for their dependents. Children, as parents get older, return that support.
Families provide emotional and financial support unconditionally to members of a family. The trust a group of people has for functioning as a support system for each other is what makes a family a family.