Family and Kinship (Sociology)

Topics: Marriage, Family, Kinship Pages: 5 (762 words) Published: June 2, 2013
Presented by,

Shailendra Kumar Nitish Singh Amit Dogra

What family means… The family forms the basic unit of social organization and it is difficult to imagine how human society could function without it. The family has been seen as a universal social institution an inevitable part of human society.


Defining “FAMILY”
Various sociologists “family” in various ways:  G.P Murdock defines the family as a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship and one or more children own or adopted of the sexually co-habiting adults.  According to Burgess and Lock, the family is a group of persons united by ties of marriage, blood or adoption constituting a single household interacting with each other in their respective social role of husband and wife, mother and father, brother and sister creating a common culture.

Defining “FAMILY” (contd.)
Reiss defines the family as a small kinship-structured group with the key function of providing nurturance and socialization of the newborn. He acknowledges that this group is commonly the parents in a conjugal relationship.  Malinowski opined that the family is the institution within which the cultural traditions of a society is handed over to a newer generation. This indispensable function could not be filled unless the relations to parents and children were relations reciprocally of authority and respect. 

Universality Emotional Basis
Responsibility of the members

Nuclear position in the social structure

Characteristics Of Family
Formative Influence

Limited Size

Social Regulation

Bases of classification:

On the basis of marriage

Polygamous or polygynous family

Polyandrous family

Monogamous family

On the basis of the nature of residence

Family of matrilocal residence

Family of patrilocal residence

Family of changing residence

On the basis of ancestry or descent family

Matrilineal family

Patrilineal family

On the basis of size or structure

Nuclear or the single unit family

Joint family

On the basis of the nature of relations among the family members

The conjugal family which consists of adult members among there exists sex relationship.

Consanguine family which consists of members among whom there exists blood relationship- brother and sister, father and son etc.


Kinship is the relation by the bond of blood, marriage and includes kindered ones. Kinship includes Agnates (sapindas, sagotras); cognates (from mother's side) and bandhus (atamabandhus, pitrubandhus, and matrubandhus).

Definition of KINSHIP

The network of social relationships which link individuals through common ancestry, marriage, or adoption. Kinship is a term with various meanings depending upon the context. It is usually considered to refer to the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of most humans in most societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated.

Types Of Kinship
Affinal Kinship
• Kinship due to marriage is affinal kinship. New relations are created when marriage takes place. Not only man establishes relationship with the girl and the members of her but also family members of both the man and the woman get bound among themselves. • Relation by the bond of blood is called consanguineous kinship such as parents and their children and between children of same parents. Thus son, daughter, brother, sister, paternal uncle etc are consanguineous kin. Each of these is related through blood.

Consanguineous kinship

Kinship systems are mechanisms that link conjugal families (and individuals not living in families) in ways that affect the integration of the general social structure and enhance the ability of the society to reproduce itself in...
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