Definition of a Family

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Defining a family is difficult because many different people have many different ideas on what a family is and is not, there is no right or wrong answer, its all about others perspectives. Since many people have many views on what a family is, there is no set definition. Vanier institute claims that a family is 2 or more people bound together over time and mutual consent, while in 1949 Murdock defined a family as a couple that is sexually active and have one or more children. Later in 1971, Burgess et al defined a family as “a group of persons united by the ties of marriage, blood or adoption” and Social Science defined a family as a group of “individuals who are related by affection, kinship, dependency or trust.” All these different people have had a different idea on what families are, but are any of them wrong? When reading each definition, I only found one similarity, a family is at least two people who are together. So is it possible that that has become what a family is?

My definition of a family is similar to the definitions given by the Vanier institute and the Social Science institute. I believe a family is a group of individuals who want to be together and who trust each other and love one another (either as a romance or as a friendship or kinship). I do not believe that one has to be married or has to have children to be considered a family. In today’s times Burgess et al, as well as Murdock’s definition of a family would not match many of the families in our community. Our society is able to view different ways of living to still be called a family, for example today we would call a single mother with two children a family. This is because they care for each other unconditionally, and support each other’s needs. Jane Howard once said, “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” I believe this is true, there is no set definition on a family because each...
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