Essay is about The Concept of Family encompasses the different family structures prevalent today

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The Concept of Family

In the closest literary term, a family in the context of human society indicates to a group of people related by birth, marriage or other relationship or a combination of a few other factors, as stated by Sherman & Dinkmeyer (2014). A family can comprise of immediate family members like parents, spouses, siblings and children and an extended family including grandparents, uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews and in-laws. Defining family in the contemporary context is quite a task owing to the diverse family structures that are prevalent these days, as mentioned by Kagitcibasi (2017). For best understanding of the concept of family acknowledging the different types of families that exist in the modern times, family can be considered as a kinship unit.

This kinship unit might exist as a social reality even when the members within it are not sharing a common household. The family is a principal institution that acts a place for socialization of different generations, mainly the children, as observed by Moore (2011). The sociological turn for modern day families sheds light on the changed pattern of conventional family system and highlights the importance of these diverse family types to tackle challenges that are relevant now.   

Traditional family structure was common throughout a major part of the twentieth century. Families comprising of parents and children seemed to be an ideal household and a good place for bringing up the new generations. However, with passage of time and occurrence of different events a major change came in the familial structure as well that is known as the non-traditional families, as opined by Sharma (2013). The most prominent examples of this kind of family structure are single parenthood, cohabitation, polygamy and same-sex families. The daily life experiences have changed a great deal that necessitates equal importance and respect for the non-traditional families.

For example, single parenthood is very much common these days. However, modernity has failed to eradicate all kinds of stigma related to the non-traditional family structure. Cohabitation or the same-sex families are also frequently noticed now because of the changing social culture and practices. Every individual has a right to make his or her own family depending on the preferences they have. According to Trivette, Dunst & Hamby (2010), biological ties are not the only factors that should be given vantage over the others. The purpose of a family is to bind the members as one unit and that should be done in a proper way rather than inclining to any biased mentality.       

The family systems theory is a popular perspective for understanding the different family structures. This theory addresses the related components of a family as a system. This theory provides an understanding of a family where impact on one family member would affect the entire family because the members are a part of a system and functions in the manner of a system, as observed by Kagitcibasi (2017). Apart from this ideology of the theory, it also supports an assumption of the communities getting affected in which the families are a part of when they are experiencing any crisis situation. Thus, for understanding the interactions happening within a traditional or non-traditional family, the family system theory helps to comprehend how one change in a member’s life would impact the other members of the family. In a nuclear family of a mother, father and child, when someone passes away or gets separated, the entire interaction among the family members change due to changing dimension. The intensity of the impact depends on other factors, but the undoubtedly every person is affected leading to crucial decisions for the future, as remarked by Trivette, Dunst & Hamby (2010).

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