Family Social Institution


Family is undoubtedly a major interpersonal institution by many sociologists; it is a place where much of a person's sociable activities occur. The concept of the family is considered as a social device or several kin connected by blood, marriage or adoption, moving into the same dwelling and serves as a nuclear (a family structure made of parents and their children) or expanded (a family group structure made up of three generations for example grandparents, parents and children). The prolonged family is associated with the pre- industrial society; parents were mainly in charge of the well-being and education of their children. This type of family device was the key source of development and anticipated to prolonged kinship; families used to own for example large agricultural land or farms and would trade for other resources like clothes with other individuals.

The nuclear family on the other side is known as by sociologists to be the normal kind of family structure within an industrial society. Since it involves fewer customers than the extended family it makes it easier to allow them to relocate to professional areas where their labour and skills are in popular demand. Graham Allan and Graham Crow argued that there was no longer a family routine thorough which most people move. They said, 'individuals and families are now more in a position to exercise choice and personal volition over home and familial plans than previously, their option no more being constrained by public convention and /or economical need. Haralambos and Holborn (2004) pg 496

The main ways that the concept of the family has improved over time and across ethnicities, is evident in both pre- industrialisation and industrialisation societies. Before fifty years, family life is becoming progressively diverse. High profits and less responsibility to other family have attracted lengthened families to split up. Individuals in the pre-industrial contemporary society possessed an important monetary function in population but have lost its purpose as a creation unit.

However in the industrial society economic improvement is occurring but the concept of the family is going through significant changes in its framework. Most women are used, so fewer women are being home to provide for the family needs. Societal changes are thought to highly have contributed to the reduction of mainly the nuclear family. Divorce rates are extremely high across all cultures and an upgraded of lone-parent, childless, remarried, homosexual, foster and adoptive people have been proven. Wearing down of marriages, and anti-social behavior is progressively destroying families. People are increasingly cohabiting, in a variety of industrial countries. Family life is no more an image of harmony and joy. Socialists say that increased individualism with modern society has also possessed its contribution to the changes of the family composition.

The change that is taking place in the original concept of family in diverse civilizations is a huge problem and some psychologists argue that it requires to be addressed, for any anticipation of keeping the family organization, especially the nuclear family. Matching to Murdock, "the nuclear family is the basic form of family. He perceives all other family forms as extensions of the nuclear family". Harlambros M. & Langley P. (2003) page 74. As folks from different cultures progressively more seek out greener pastures, immigrating has been unavoidable. Adopted cultural backgrounds and loosing sense of personality has took place across civilizations.

Differences in the approach to life of different cultural origins and various religious values, has helped some civilizations to maintain the extended family product. In Arab countries, family is still highly preserved due to strong religious beliefs. Many people still live under the same house carry and own large shop businesses, same as in India and Japan.


Harlambros M. & Langley P. (2003) Sociology in focus

Haralambos and Holborn (2004) pg 496 Sociology Designs and Perspectives HarperCollin Publishers

http://www. ncsociology. org/sociationtoday/v22/family. htm

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