Social Sciences. Family

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All aspects of life are related to the family and family is likely to be the most important unit of social organization. Family is a social institution which consists of people who united by the same organization, including any children (Macionis,2010). It is also a system of relations between husband and wife, parents and children, based on marriage or consanguinity. Over the time family patterns has been changing. New types of family have been brought into society. For example, homosexual couples and cohabitation. This essay will consider family transformations throughout time and will also discuss the main issues around old and new types of family and the main theories on it. The emphasis will be on modern Britain but with references to Europe and US. In pre industrial society people were more familiar with traditional types of family such as extended family. Extended family is a form of family lead by a man, which includes several generations of close relatives, who sharing the same household. Wives were dependant from their husbands, and children were dependant from their parents. In the extended family the most respected people were elderly people, whose opinion was always considered. Women were in a subordinate position and their main functions were raising children and housekeeping. This type of family interaction requires a well-designed functions and separation of family roles. Historical changes have turned structural and functional features of family interaction, topicality of the extended family declined, and later the need for it disappeared completely. During the formation of the capitalist mode of production, to replace the traditional extended family came nuclear family. Nuclear family may consist of one or two parents and it may be childless or include as many children. One of the main characteristics of this type of family - "isolation" - reflected in the fact that family members tend to have separate accommodation from other relatives and...
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