<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Drawing on two sociological paradigms, the sociological understanding of what constitutes a family can be explained by symbolic interactionism as well as functionalism. These two theories indicate that families are groups in which participants view themselves as family members and act accordingly. In other words, families are groups in which people come together to form a strong primary group connection and maintain emotional ties to one another over a long period of time. Such families may include groups of close friends or teammates. In addition, the functionalist perspective views families as groups that perform vital roles for society—both internally (for the family itself) and externally (for society as a whole). Families provide for one another’s physical, emotional, and social well-being. Parents care for and socialize children. Later in life, adult children often care for elderly parents. While interactionism helps us understand the subjective experience of belonging to a “family,” functionalism illuminates the many purposes of families and their roles in the maintenance of a balanced society (Parsons and Bales 1956). We will go into more detail about how these theories apply to family in.

Challenges families face

People in the United States as a whole are somewhat divided when it comes to determining what does and what does not constitute a family. In a 2010 survey conducted by professors at the University of Indiana, nearly all participants (99.8 percent) agreed that a husband, wife, and children constitute a family. Ninety-two percent stated that a husband and a wife without children still constitute a family. The numbers drop for less traditional structures: unmarried couples with children (83 percent), unmarried couples without children (39.6 percent), gay male couples with children (64 percent), and gay male couples without children (33 percent) (Powell et al. 2010). This survey revealed that children tend to be the key indicator in establishing “family” status: the percentage of individuals who agreed that unmarried couples and gay couples constitute a family nearly doubled when children were added.

The study also revealed that 60 percent of U.S. respondents agreed that if you consider yourself a family, you are a family (a concept that reinforces an interactionist perspective) (Powell 2010). The government, however, is not so flexible in its definition of “family.” The U.S. Census Bureau defines a family as “a group of two people or more (one of whom is the householder) related by birth, marriage, or adoption and residing together” (U.S. Census Bureau 2010). While this structured definition can be used as a means to consistently track family-related patterns over several years, it excludes individuals such as cohabitating unmarried heterosexual and homosexual couples. Legality aside, sociologists would argue that the general concept of family is more diverse and less structured than in years past. Society has given more leeway to the design of a family making room for what works for its members (Jayson 2010).

Questions & Answers

what are the process of social change
Aqeel Reply
Do what do theories on gender say
Miriro Reply
nonviolent crime include what?
Ajayi Reply
White Collar Crime
Basit
How has sociolgy change the way you see the world?
JV Reply
what is sociology
Kelvin Reply
sociology is a science of social relationship.
is the studies of people living in a particular jurisdiction and with a particular behavioural pattern
Evance
that highlight principle of how to live in society
Akak
Welcome
Shabana
Explain Levi-Strauss conception of Binary opposition.
Silent
what is socialogy
Kelvin Reply
study of human behaviour
Kainat
scientific and systematic study of human behaviour and social life generally
basher
It's the study of human behaviour and the interactions he has with others depending which parental, scholar, social and environmental education within various geographical sites he grew up in.
Pit
How many types of sociology?
Zalkifl Reply
I don't know
Omiat
4 types is the matirial nun matirial idea rea and real.
Shabana
compte Auguste
susan
i dont knw
German
what are the founders of sociology and their theories
Asad Reply
what is stratification?
vinay Reply
Stratification is also called social stratification. Sosial stratification is a social differentiation whereby members od society are gouped into socioeconomic strata,based upon their occupation, incom,wealth and social status or derived power(social and political power).
Muhammad
what is founders of sociology and their theory.?
Asad
what do you know about gender roles and stratification
Kayla
Gender roles are socially and culturally created by people in a specific geographical area upon the values and attitudes which they value as normal to them
Miriro
Stratification is a form of hierarchy
Miriro
what is culture
Trev Reply
Bangali
Rasel
your culture
Rasel
difference between agent of socialization and social institution
Lydia Reply
can u give me the difference
Calextus
i need an answer please
Lydia
sunlight the scale of the population of a specific group of species in a variety of contexts I'm more interested in legitimate education processes to allow specifically young disabled people can you recover from whatever causes them to be without a suitable for dissipation in their habitats and all
Matthew
Ok
Amos
i,m interested for this subjects..
Rasel Reply
Function of schools and peers groups in sociology development
Asaba Reply
The family is a social institution that unites individuals into cooperative groups that oversee the bearing and raising of children. These units are in turn built on kinship, a social bond based on blood, marriage, or adoption, that joins individuals into families. Critically discuss forces that sh
Nicholas Reply
What's the most important way to persuade the minds of people into sociology?
Heathara Reply
We are confronted by persuasion in a wide variety of forms every single to Media Matters, a typical adult is exposed to approximately 600 to 625 ads in any form each and every day. Food makers want us to buy their newest product.
Mark
movie studios want us to go see the latest blockbusters. Because persuasion is such a pervasive component of our lives, it is often all-too-easy to overlook how we are influenced by outside sources.
Mark
here are five major steps that a sociologist have to know if he or she wants to be successful let me say this first when the sociologist is dealing with persuasion or lack of a better term manipulation you have to know when you getting manipulated and when you're not and if you're doing the manipula
Mark
see a sociologist foundation is I know right from wrong and do right now here are the five ways of manipulation in any setting no matter whether it is sociology psychology whatever it is a one-on-one over a candy bar you have to know and learn the act of persuasion.
Mark
To get someone to listen to your argument, you need to get their attention. You have about five seconds when talking to someone to engage their attention before they will lose focus. You can do this in several ways.
Mark
forearm or shoulder to draw their attention. Bring up a topic that you know they are passionate about and segue into your argument – but be sure there is a valid connection so you don’t seem to be changing the topic too quickly Start with a statement that conveys the benefit of your position for t
Mark
Start with a statement that conveys the benefit of your position for the other person
Mark

Get the best Introduction to sociol... course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Introduction to sociology 2e' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask