Family and Culture

Topics: Family, Nuclear family, Extended family Pages: 3 (1023 words) Published: March 21, 2008
“Family culture is a unique way that a family forms itself in terms of rules, roles, habits, activities, beliefs, and other areas” (“What is family culture?”, 2002). The perception of family is an aspect of family culture; this includes the interactions within the family and with others. Some of these perceptions can be defined as myths. A myth is a belief about someone or something that is believed to be true, but it is false, made-up, or exaggerated (S. Yu, Lecture). There are both positive and negative aspects of believing myths. Believing myths could be very dysfunctional; they can result in negative consequences that disrupt a family and they may also divert our attention away from widespread social problems that affect families. On the other hand, believing some of these myths could lead to positive outcomes as well; they could bring us together and promote social solidarity and they could also allow individuals to instill traditional values from their culture. Three popular myths include the universal, idealized nuclear family of the past, the self-reliant family, and the perfect marriage, the perfect family myths. These myths can create unrealistic expectations about what families can or should be or do; or they distort the diverse experiences of other family units (Schwartz & Scott, 2007). The myth regarding the universal, idealized nuclear family of the past includes the definition of a nuclear family which is a family made up of a wife, husband, and their biological or adopted children. Although most people tend to characterize this family structure as always being the dominant one, that isn’t the case. The nuclear family is a recent phenomenon, the “traditional family” being the one before it. The traditional family was multigenerational, with grandparents often living with their children, usually with relatives nearby. “The “new” nuclear family has evolved in response to a number of factors: better health and longer lives, economic development,...
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