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Claude Guldner’s essay The Emerging Family, provides an excellent review of lesson one in the reading selection of, Families in Canadian Society. Throughout both contents of the readings I was surprised to see how they similarly complemented one another, both discuss issues of the progression of the family life cycle, as well as the traditional family. With the knowledge I have gained from my studies, I will discuss how Claude Guldner’s essay provides similar form, and objectives to that of lesson one. I will also provide reference from both forms of writings, so that all variations of my studies comply accurately with Claude’s essay, and lesson one’s material.
Through extensive inquiry, I have organized three supporting points from both readings. Each point coincides with one another; they include, What is family, Family systems theory, and Developmental theory. All three of these points in order provide an accurate and formal review of the material that will be analyzed. In finalizing my assessment of both sources, I will note that there is sincere mutual agreement between the two, and that they reflect one another significantly with their understanding of the emerging family, and it’s stages of progression.
The first of three points that I will introduce will be “What is Family”. There are many definitions as to what family is, some believe that children are the necessary ingredients for the use of the term family, and others simply disagree. In the reading selection, of The Emerging Family, they note how “current definitions move us away from the model of the family that Eichler (1988) call’s “monolithic”.” The term monolithic means to view all families as essentially the same in composition, structure and function, to a “multidimensional” model (Eichler: 1988). The multidimensional model involves several dimensions of familial interaction. Each discusses six of these dimensions: procreative, socialization, sexual, residential, economic, and emotional. It is not necessary for all of these dimensions to be present, or present at the same intensity, in order to inform a definition of the family. Through my review of lesson one I was able to act on the realization that there is more than one definition of family. The course defines family through the multidimensional model, and states the many realistic forms families are known by; they include, Biological family: people who are related, the Economic family: related people sharing a household, and the Psychological family: emotionally identified group.
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The second point that I am going to introduce is “Family systems theory”. The purpose of this theory is to provide us with a framework for understanding how families function at the six stages of the family life cycle. Because families are so diverse, and because those who study the family take so many different positions, there is no one theory or framework that suits everyone. With reference to the essay, The emerging family, we learn that systems theory has enabled us to recognize that at one level all families are alike. “They all have structures (regulated patterns through which people relate to one another); functions (the steps families take to fulfill their purposes); and operations (the specific activities a family undertakes in its’ process of fulfilling functions)” (Guldner). Through these structures is where every family develops its’ own idiosyncratic patterns of interaction (Guldner). Know let’s resort to the material in lesson one; every system is composed of a sub-system, in order to understand the family systems theory, you must understand each of the sub-concepts. They are as follows, wholeness, hierarchy, boundaries, rules, control, and causality, each of these concepts hold value towards the family systems theory in terms of change and various stages we move through in the family lifecycle. There are a number of structural issues to consider in attempting to understand the quality of family functioning, and between both sources of writing in lesson one and the essay I have noticed a significant co-ordination in the similarity of their work, and reason. Both agree that the “ family systems thinking has enabled us to recognize that it is not the end of the family but only its’ reorganization”, and “the key to studying the family is to look at how they carry out their functions in relation to their particular structure” (Marshall Fine, 1990). Through my understanding of the Family systems theory, I have concluded that both the essay and material in lesson one provide an excellent review of one another. In all cases their work had some level of diversity, nonetheless it was straight and analogous.
The third and final point to introduce is Developmental theory (Family life cycle). As you discovered in point three, the family is a complex system. Adding to this complexity is the fact that the family system continues to change as the family moves through various stages of the family life cycle. In part four of lesson one, we will take reference to the model of the family life cycle, and the six stages to be analyzed. This selection describes Family life cycle or Developmental theory, and uses changing family systems as its basis. In this way the Systems theory and Developmental theory overlap and support each other in their approach to understanding families. There are six stages to be analyzed, The young single (between families), The newly married pair, The family with young children, The family adolescent children, launching, and The family in later life (Carter/McGoldrick). Each stage will; study the specific task, look at involved historical and cultural perspectives, examine selected issues that relate to the stages, and predict future trends. By taking reference to the essay The emerging family, we can see that throughout its’ contents there are many concepts in which relate closely to that of the material covered in lesson one. Lesson one studies the multidimensional model, this is very important because its’ fundamentals are critical to the Developmental theory, this model provides us with our familial diversity. Another issue that is important is the “role cycling”, as progress on today’s emerging family we need to know that “when opportunity avails itself, both men and women are capable of role cycling to meet all family needs” (Guldner). I could go on forever comparing and contrasting, however at this point I think that it is very clear that the essay written by Claude Guldner, is in fact comparable in many ways to that of the material that we have read in this lesson. With careful consideration and repetitive review, I feel that the two readings that I have been studying truly show comparison through many forms and ideas they have maintained, we live by a cycle, a system of complexity, movement and growth, its’ what makes us the emerging family.
The concept of family life cycle stages has made an important contribution, throughout time we have evolved and adapted to our present epoch, we experience many critical stages that continually take us along this everlasting cycle. The three points that I covered in this essay, What is family, Family systems theory, and Developmental theory, have provided strongly in supporting my position throughout this essay. Each has its’ own defined role, but coincidentally form together to make sense of this whole Emerging family aspect. My position in this situation is to provide evidence of how Claude Guldner’s essay provides similar form, and objectives to that of lesson one, as well I am to provide reference from both forms of writings so that all variations of my studies comply accurately with one another. It is vital that we be aware of the roles we play in today’s phase, as time goes on our lives change right before our eyes, we are caught in the middle of the cycle of life and we need to be aware of these changes. What we contribute into, and how we treat our system will affect us all.