The Ideal Family Component
The ideal family consists of a husband and wife, two and a half children, a dog and a cat, living in beautiful home surrounded by a white picket fence. This is what is seen as the ideal family since the 1950’s, but what really are the key components that one would say make up a family? There could be an endless series of novels written on this topic. I personally feel that to be called a family there are three key components, those components are: marriage, children and heritage. The first component I feel it takes to be called a family is marriage, but first we must know what marriage is. According to Henslin marriage is defined as a group’s approved mating arrangements, usually marked by a ritual of some sort (the wedding) to indicate the couple’s new public status (Henslin, 2011). I personally don’t believe that you have to be married to someone to be called a family, but due to things like religion and societies views on “living in sin”, I find myself adapting to the greater masses views. Marriage is what most people feel is the greatest gift you can give, giving oneself to another. That kind of selflessness I feel is an important component of a family. Having children with the one you are married to I feel is another component that makes up a family. Until the point of having a child, even being married, you are just considered a “couple”. When that first child is brought into the home is when that sense of being a family truly is accomplished. This seemed to be much more true in the early 1900’s where there was a much greater number of families with 3 or more children. According to figure 12.4, since about 1970 the opposite has been true and families are having less children. A greater percent of families are having zero to two children than those having three or more children. The third key component that I feel is necessary to be called a family is having heritage. Heritage is anything that has been transmitted from the...
References: Henslin, J. (2011). Essentials of sociology, a down-to-earth approach, 9th edition.
heritage. (n.d.) The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.
(2003). Retrieved September 24 2012 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/heritage
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