Benefitions Of Family: The Definition Of The Redefining Family

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Redefining Family What is a family? This question has been raised throughout history, and the answer is different depending on who is asked. The definition offered in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “a group of people who are related to each other.” (“Family”) Openstax College textbook Introduction to Sociology defines family as “a socially recognized group (usually joined by blood, marriage, or adoption) that forms an emotional connection and serves as an economic unit of society.” (315) For census purposes, a family is defined as “...a householder and one or more other people living in the same household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption.” (Pemberton) This definition seems to refer to the nuclear family—a dad, mom, and offspring—a purportedly ideal arrangement traditionalists tout as beneficial to both society and children. However, it is a definition that no longer suits modern American culture, as it deprecates alternative family structures, denies cultural and class differences, and leads to narrow policy decisions. Families are an institution as old as civilization itself, periodically…show more content…
In the late 1960s, The Brady Bunch brought understanding and acceptance of the blended family. Full House demonstrated the importance of extended family and the support of friends and the community. Gilmore Girls showcased a strong single-parent structure and the blending of family of choice with family of origin. The 2009 premiere of Modern Family gave viewers a more encompassing picture of the myriad ways a family unit can take shape. As Coontz noted of shows in previous eras, “People didn 't watch these shows to see their own lives reflected back at them. They watched them to see how families were supposed to live—and also to get a little reassurance that they were headed in the right direction.”

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