Family Concept

Topics: Family, Sociology, Extended family Pages: 10 (3055 words) Published: September 23, 2013
The family, which is the fundamental building block of society, has exhibited a variety of forms throughout the world. Despite this wide variety which socialize human beings into the world's many cultures and ethnic groups, several global factors have begun to impact families everywhere. These factors include industrialization, urbanization and socialization. This paper will aim to highlight how these global factors, that is urbanization, industrialization and socialization have affected the traditional family. In order to do this, the essay will endeavor to define the concepts traditional family, urbanization, industrialization with a theoretical explanation and socialization. The good and negative factors of these global factors will also be highlighted and finally a conclusion shall be given. Definition of concepts

There are various ways to define the concept family. This could be in terms of such ideas as nuclear, extended, single-parent and reconstituted family structures. The structure of the family - like any other social structure - is defined in terms of the social relationships from which it is constructed. According to Odetola, T.O. and Ademola, A. (1985) an extended family is defined as a pattern of family organization which means that the whole kinship group is a social and economic unit, living in the same house, adjacent dwellings, sharing work duties, responsibilities and the fruits of production. The nuclear family is said to be a much smaller organization which consists of the man, his wife and children while a single parent family is that type of family where there’s only one parent. The family is usually the major source of the basic necessities of life and health; love and tenderness, adequate food, clean water, a place and time for rest, clothing and sanitation, to the extent made possible by socio-economic, cultural and environmental conditions. O’donnell, G. (2002) define family as a group of persons united by the ties of marriage, blood, or adoption; constituting a single household, interacting and intercommunicating with each other in their respective social role of husband and wife, mother and father, brother and sister and creating a common culture. Traditional Family

In the traditional, rural societies the extended family system includes several generations plus cousins, uncles and aunts living in a compound or close to one another form the family. Noyoo, N. (2000) asserts that the family was the primary unit of socialization and security in pre-colonial Zambia. According to him, the family nurtured as well as protected its members from adversities. It also provided its members with both emotional and material support in times of distress and deprivation. He adds that people lived in closely knit groups usually linked by kinship and accepted obligations of mutual support. The arrangement of families into clans was the most common feature at the time; members of the clan were all kinsmen as they believed that they were all descended from a common ancestor.

O’donnell, G. (2002) argues that the family is responsible for the care and up-bringing of all children. It is a cohesive unit which ideally provides economic such as land for farming, social and psychological security to all its members. It defines social and moral norms and safeguards both material and spiritual customs and traditions as well as providing a variety of role models preparing the way for adulthood. It is important to emphasize that this system with the dominance of the elders or the aged as the safe of society, has a relatively high degree of social control on the individual especially the youth. He further agrues that within this structure, children occupy a central place and are raised in close family group. It is common that responsibility for the social development of the child is shared by the members of the community. It is in this respect that it could be said that in the...

Bibliography: Odetola, T.O., and Ademola, A. (1985). Sociology: An Introductory African Text. London: Macmillan Education Ltd.
Noyoo, N. (2000). Social Welfare in Zambia. Lusaka: Multimedia Zambia.
Mogey, J. (1991). Families: Intergenerational and generational connections-conceptual approaches to kinship and culture. Marriage and Family Review, 16, 47-66.
Saal, C.D. (1987). Alternative forms of living and housing. In L. Shamgar-Handelman & R. Palomba (Ed.), Alternative patterns of family life in modern societies. Rome: Collana Monografie.
Parsons, T. ("The Social Structure of the Family", 1959)
Asford, B. (1995). The Global System: Economics, Politics and Culture. Martins Press: New York.
Question: How has industrialization, urbanization and socialization affected the traditional family patterns. Show both the good and negative influences.
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