The Family Structure: Socialization And Development Of The Family

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Anyone with a family knows that family dynamics can be complicated and frustrating as well as nurturing, loving, and influential. Sociology defines Families as “relationships in which people live together with commitment, form an economic unit and care for any young, and consider their identity to be significantly attached to the group” (Kendall 332), and tells us that the Family is the foremost social group; it serves to meet human beings’ most basic needs and is our primary means of socialization and development of the sense of self. As the family structure has changed drastically in recent decades, it is necessary to examine it from multiple perspectives; Diana Kendall describes sociology of the family as a discipline of sociology that “attempts…show more content…
schools), and that its influence on individual members has changed as the family structure has shifted out of the traditional mold. As humans continue to transcend long-perpetuated stereotypes based on gender, age, race/ethnicity, etc. and social mobility becomes more fluid, the roles and divisions of labor within each Family and household shift in response. Individuals in modern society “have been less inclined to accept the structural constraints imposed on them by institutions” (Kendall 338), and this has been reflected in the family structure and the roles fulfilled by Family members. The key functions served by the Family become less rigid as other social institutions begin to take on those responsibilities. For example, if a mother works outside of the home and outsources childcare to another individual or organization, that individual or organization assumes the responsibilities of socializing the child(ren) and partially fulfilling the mother’s expressive duties. As marriage between homosexual couples has become legalized, this alters the traditional institution of marriage as no longer between males and females only. Both homosexual and heterosexual couples may choose not to have children, eliminating a conflict which could arise from determining which partner should be the dominant breadwinner and which should perform the…show more content…
Because the Symbolic Interactionist Perspective examines the Family through the interactions between each member, separately with one another and also the whole, it is the best theory and remains applicable no matter how the family structure changes. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the Family is permeable and its members and structure can deviate (in some cases far) beyond the traditional, arguably antiquated model of the patriarchal, monogamous, nuclear family with two heterosexual parents and their natural children. The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective offers a multifaceted view of the Family and eliminates any potential bias on gender, class, age, race/ethnicity, et al. as a method of study because it utilizes “the subjective meanings and everyday interpretations that people give to their lives” (Kendall
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