SOC 101- Introduction to Sociology
October 24, 2011
Most people think of a family as the nuclear family having the father, mother, and their children in the household. However, families are now portrayed in many different ways other than the traditional family. There are single parent families, families without children, stepfamilies, extended families, and same-sex families. In a family, you must have an identity a sense that you belong. In sociology, functionalist, conflict theorist, and symbolic interactionists have different view points on families. This paper will address how each sociological theory views families and the affect that families can have on society. What is a family? We may view a family as a group of people related by kinship or relationship. “One of the most important aspects of what happens to us over the life course is our relationship with our family” (Vissing, 2011, Ch. 2. p.63). In sociology, family is viewed as an institution. An institution is a custom or relationship of importance in the life of a society. The traditional family has always been the norm and there were no social acceptance of divorce. However, over the years, the structure of the family has changed. Families may come in many different forms. Families can be linked by ancestors, marriage, or adoption. “Dual-earner, single-parent, and same-sex couple homes now greatly out-number the once-ascendant home-breadwinner family” (Gerson, 2009, p. 735-753). Families are no longer staying together because it is the right thing to do. Some families like the idea of not getting married and decide to live together. They no longer consider this to be immoral. With many couples choosing this type of lifestyle, the family structure is in decline. Family is more than just producing children. There should be happiness and togetherness within the unit. Earlier, I stated there were many different types of families....