Family in 21st Century Society

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Family in 21st Century Society: Health care challenges
The family is a community within a community within society at large. The family system has a fundamental role within the larger community and society in general. The impact of the family system is seen beginning with the way a person dresses, his or her mannerisms, and extending to the general philosophies of the person down to the type of person he or she chooses as a mate. The family will have an effect on how a person views family, fidelity, children, discipline, work ethic, wellness, health, and health care. Family members may put pressure upon other members to neglect or support good health habits. Members may ridicule one another for making wise food, rest, and health choices, or the lack thereof (Freidman, Bowden, & Jones, 2003).

Western North Carolina, to say the least is an eclectic place. Health care professionals who interact with “locals” encounter a very different dynamic of family relationships than caring for persons identified as “not from around here.” Locals tend to be stoic; generally polite to a person’s face. They may give you the ‘Y’all come back,” farewell and positively do not mean it. They do not necessarily ask direct questions out right. When given an opportunity to express their experience within the health care system, they may choose to commend or condemn the health care system and staff; and finish it up with a “bless their heart.” As if such a statement is absolution for saying something bad about a person. The family as a system will rally round the patient. The interaction of the subsystems can be an eye-opener to a person new to the area (Weller, 1965),. One family member may move in and take on the role of some kind of gate keeper.

The protection of the patient by one or more family members is probably related to the gate keeper, or attempted gatekeeper, or self appointed spokesperson’s current level of...
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