A picture that pops into mind when one thinks of the term “family”: Mother prepares dinner, Father comes home from a hard day’s work, and the children walk into the house from school. The group sits at the dinner table and discusses the day’s activities with a genuine smile on their faces. Everything for this family is perfect. This example is just a traditional family portrait and is far from the reality of many modern families. It is so far from reality that the entire definition of “family” can be skewed into whatever subjective opinion one wants. Cold-blooded, homicidal menaces to society can create a “family” by forming a gang which may have more inner peace than a dysfunctional blood family. Friends can consider themselves family even when they share no blood ties. Gay couples, single males, and parents of different ethnicities can adopt a child and form the “legal” definition of a family. There is no set-in-stone definition of family; with the complexity of the modern world, the term “family” can be used to describe blood relations or simply any group of people a bond is felt with.
The HBO drama The Sopranos promises to make its viewers rethink the term “family” with a tagline such as “Meet Tony Soprano, if one family doesn’t kill him… the other family will” (IMDB). The two families the show speaks about are of two different worlds. The first family (often dysfunctional) is Tony Soprano’s blood family that includes his wife and children. The second family (a complete blood-splattered mess) is Tony’s Mafia affiliations. In the episode “The Happy Wanderer”, Tony takes the role as the head of house in both families and must balance his life between being a Mob boss and bei...
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...ll always be there for your family when they need you, and they'll always be there for you. Blood related or not” (Urbandictionary). This definition is a perfect example of why family is about a bond between its members, not something defined by legality. Through many trials and tribulations, the multitudes of different types of families will continue to exist, breaking the mold of traditional ideas and redefining what we come to think of as “family”.
“Family.” Def. 23. Urbandictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.
“The Happy Wanderer.” The Sopranos. HBO. 20 Feb. 2000. Television.
“’The Sopranos’ (1999) - Taglines.” IMDB. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2012.
Vasquez, Adrian. Personal interview. 15 Feb. 2012.
White, Rob. “Indigenous Youth and Gangs as Family.” Youth Studies Australia 28.3 (2009): 47-56. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.
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