Sociology and Various Types Family

Topics: Sociology, Family, Institution Pages: 2 (636 words) Published: July 26, 2013
Family is the smallest social group in the human societies. It is both an association and institution. In general, it consists of a man and women with a child or children. It is the most universal of all groups, associations and institutions of human society based on emotional ties. It occupies a nuclear position in the social organisation with unlimited responsibilities of its members. Its structure and functions change with time. A variation in culture, social system and social value brings variations in family types. We come across various types’ family in human society. On the basis of size and structure it may be nuclear, conjugal and extended family. On the basis of descent or ancestry it may be patrilineal, matrilined and bilineal. On the basis of authority, it may be patriarchal, matriarchal and equalitarian. On the basis of residence, it is divided as patrilocal, matrilocal, bilocal and avuncu-local. As one of the fundamental social institutions it performs several functions to charter the needs of human beings. Sociologist like Goode, K.Davis, Ougburn and Nimkoff, MacIver and Page etc. classify the functions of family. The best categorizations of functions of family have been made by MacIver and Page. They grouped the functions of family into two broad categories i.e. essential and non-essential functions. Under essential functions they include (1) stable satisfaction of sex need (2) Reproduction (3) Protection and care of the young (4) socializing functions and (5) provision of a home. Similarly, under non-essential functions they include economic, educational, religious, and recreational and functions related to health. With the change of time and necessity, the functions of family have undergone a sea change. The functions which were traditionally performed by the family are now being shifted to some secondary institutions because the modern family fails to give traditional protection for the aged, diseased, mentally retarded, physically handicapped...
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