Family Study Notes

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Connecting Individuals, families and society
* Canadians view families as essential to personal and social well-being. * No society can survive unless certain basic functions, such as reproduction or the provision of food, are carried out. * According to American sociologist William Goode: It is through the family that society is able to elicit from the individual his [or her] necessary contribution. The family, in turn, can continue to exist only if it is supported by the larger society. If the society as a larger social system furnishes the family, as a smaller social system, with the conditions necessary for its survival, these two types of systems must be interrelated in many important ways Defining Family

* Definitions of family reflect both the actual nature of families that exist within the culture and desirable nature of families as described in the social policies of that culture. * What one must note is that the criteria used in any definition reflect the purpose of the definition. * A definition of family is effective if you can use it to differentiate between families and other groups in a way that suits your purpose for having a definition. * Individuals define family based on their own personal experience and expectations of what family means to them. Definitions of the family in social sciences

* As our understanding of human society evolves so has our definition of family. * Anthropologists have provided extensive descriptions of many societies and the ways they have organized themselves to survive and thrive. * They have also identified certain basic and universal functions as prerequisites for the survival of any society. Analyze the following definitions of family

* “… a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation, and reproduction…includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a sexually approved sexual relationship and one or more children, own or adopted of the sexually cohabiting adults.” (Albanese, 2007, p. 5) * “ any group of people considered to be related to each other by blood or marriage.” (Baker, 1993, p.4) We notice that…

* The behaviour of family members is not included in either one of these definitions! A working definition of a family
* According to sociologist Anne-Marie Ambert, a definition of family should not be so broad that it does allow for the identification of the family for the purpose of research or policy decisions. * The family is a social group, an institution, and an intergenerational group of individuals related to each other by blood, adoption, or marriage/cohabitation. * In other words, Anne-Marie Ambert is suggesting that families are groups that have a set of behaviours they are expected to perform. * In a social science context, we refer this as a process-based definition that includes the purpose of the family. The Vanier institute of the family

-It is a non-governmental Canadian organization established in 1965 to conduct research on the family. -It uses a broader definition to reflect the diversity of families in Canada * Family is defined as any combination of two or more persons who are bound together over time by ties of mutual consent, birth, and/or adoption/placement and who, together, assumes responsibilities for variant combinations of some of the following: * Physical maintenance and care of group members

* Addition of new members through procreation or adoption * Socialization of children
* Social control of members
* Production, consumption, and distribution of goods and services * Affective nurturance-love.
* This definition is a process-based definition of family founded more on who carries out the functions of the family, rather than who comprises the family. * Process-based definitions reflect a desire to include groups that do not fit the traditional man-woman-child model and a return to the definition that has been used...
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