Family Structures And Social Norms Essays

Family Structures And Social Norms Essays

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What are family values? One hundred years ago I feel this would have been an easier question to answer than it is today. Changing family structures and social norms have created a more fluid form of what we envision as a family. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines a family as both “a group of persons with common ancestry” and as “a group of individuals living under one roof.” As we have discussed in class, a family is not simply nuclear anymore. In the stories we have read we have examined nuclear, single-parent, extended, and community-based families. All of which held the same feeling of importance and love for the people in it. With every family being unique, each holds their own set of beliefs or values which poses the question, what are family values?
We hear this term quite often and we usually experience some warm connotation with it. However, not many actually think of a concrete definition of family values. The technical definition is “values especially traditional or conservative kind which are held to promote the sound functioning family and to strengthen the fabric of society.” These can include being kind and respectful to others, the importance of volunteering and sharing, having personal responsibility and being honest. These can also include less universal values such as political views, imposing gender roles, religious views, and expectations over sexual orientation. As the family structures morphs and changes away from the traditional nuclear family, can we expect traditional family values to apply to a nontraditional household? This is a personal question each family must decide for themselves. Some values may be universal to all human beings such as being honest with one another, while others, like polit...

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...d he acts like a parent to me and my brother while being in a relationship with my mom. Personally, I believe the connection between two people makes a relationship, not a piece of paper.
The family dynamic is more malleable today than ever. There are so many different varieties that come along with having a more open and accepting society. I have had three different family structures in the past seven years. Before my parents divorce, I had a nuclear family. Then, we became a single parent household for a few years. After that, my mom’s boyfriend moved in and we became a blended family, with his son coming over on the weekends. All of my home dynamics changed while my extended family continued to grow. I wouldn’t change my family structure because the diversity shown within it has only made me grow as a person, as I get to know more and more from my family members.

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