Kinship – whether that means “blood relatives” or a close knit group of people is up for interpretation. Families can shape your personality, teach you your societal roles, statuses, values, and morals. Kinship and family go hand-in-hand; they are the social relationships that form an important aspect of our lives as humans. Definitions of family vary across cultures. Is a normal family only defined as a married mother and father and their biological children all living together in one household?
However, querying individuals from American society about their own experience with family may expose a new definition. This is mainly due the fact that over the last few decades, Americans have seen the development of single parenthood and the common transaction of blended families because of the nature of divorces. Nevertheless, the focus here is not on just the word family, but on the idea of a “stable family”. The meaning of this leads us back to the Oxford definition, which helps characterize the structure of a stable family as having one household with a mother and father who have been married for a long time. This is the type of family where people find solace and security when everything else seems dire.
How many people today watch family sitcoms to imitate or compare values with their own? Probably not as many as there were in the 1950s. In Stephanie Coontz's "What We Really Miss about the 1950s", she discusses why people feel more nostalgic towards growing up in the 1950s, and how she disagrees that 1950s wasn't the decade that we really should like or remember best. Apart from economic stability, family values played an important part then. Through television sitcoms, such as "Leave it to Beaver", "Father knows Best", families watched them to make sure they were living correctly.
Multigenerational families are a group of relatives that live together and share in the household chores. Many families are now opting to move senior parents into their own homes instead of a retirement community because the bonds that have been generated throughout life help the seniors state of mind. A complex family has three or more adults living in the same household plus their children. This can happen through divorce and remarriage and through polygamy in countries where polygamy is legal. Adults that for various reasons cannot have children bring a child into their home to love and care for or one parent can legally adopt the biological child of the other parent.
Families can consist of variations in relationships such as close relatives, stepparents, half siblings and extended non-biological family members. Normally, immediate family members live in the same house, nearby, until the child reaches a specified age and maturity to go into the world and start their own family. Most often members of the families have intimate and personal relationships with each other. Within the family there is a continuation of social interactions between members that can influence and shape peoples responses and reactions to their larger societies. Talcott Parson (1902-1979), a prominent sociologist from Harvard University, is accredited as the key figur... ... middle of paper ... ...unctionalism provides a positive platform for viewing society; although interactionism does a nice job as well.
Leave it to Beaver and Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet played a major role in shaping the family structures. During the 1960’s, middle-class white families dominated television shows. Situation and family drama’s mainly influenced the traditional family structure (Television and Family 1). In Leave it to Beaver, the focus was on the ideal suburban family in the fifties through the sixties. The show was mild and the spotlight was more on the children in the family compared to the adults.
Those of what was once the only and socially excepted role and purpose of marriage to what is now accepted? Gone are the days when most streets in America were like those portrayed in the once popular TV show, Leave it Beaver of the 1950’s. In those times, most homes had a mother who would stay at home and a father who would go off to work. The children would come home each day afterschool to a snack and their mother’s smiling face. Now in the twenty-first century, many children are going to afterschool care due to either both parents working or living in single parent homes.
This research showed me that the drawbacks of single parenthood can help prepare you for the future and teach you what to do and what not to do once you begin your own family. My mother comes from a very family orientated background even though she ended up as a single parent. A research I would pose is whether a parent is more likely to be a single parent if their parent was a single parent or if anyone else in the family has a history of single parenthood. In both research articles, there were benefits and drawbacks to single parenthood. Although six out of every ten children live with both of their biological parents (Kunz, 2013), single parent household can produce great children as well.
The definition of a family has changed and according to our notes a family is a relationship in which people live together with commitment to form an economic unit to care for one or more children. The people involved in the family consider their identity to be significantly attached to the group. Through literature reviews and personal experience, this essay will demonstrate that nuclear families are now an out-dated institution but the idea of a family still exists in different forms. Examples of these variations allow children to have common law parents, homosexual parents, divorced parents, single parent families, adoptive parents, and foster parents. Literature Review: According to our notes, marriage is the marital union in a legal form.
Now that I am grown, my understanding of family has matured, and many sources have helped shape my belief. Carol Shields points out in her article, “Family Is One of the Few Certainties We Will Take with Us Far into the Future,” that all around us there are different definitions and symbols of family (Shields 558). In short, a family does not have to conform to a set mold to be considered a family. For example, a small family, such as Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head’s, still qualifies as a family.