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Family is, indeed, a subjective concept, but it is a fairly objective fact that family (whatever one’s concept of it may be) is very important to people in the United States. In a 2010 survey by Pew Research Center in Washington, DC, 76 percent of adults surveyed stated that family is “the most important” element of their life—just one percent said it was “not important” (Pew Research Center 2010). It is also very important to society. President Ronald Regan notably stated, “The family has always been the cornerstone of American society. Our families nurture, preserve, and pass on to each succeeding generation the values we share and cherish, values that are the foundation of our freedoms” (Lee 2009). While the design of the family may have changed in recent years, the fundamentals of emotional closeness and support are still present. Most responders to the Pew survey stated that their family today is at least as close (45 percent) or closer (40 percent) than the family with which they grew up (Pew Research Center 2010).

Alongside the debate surrounding what constitutes a family is the question of what people in the United States believe constitutes a marriage. Many religious and social conservatives believe that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman, citing religious scripture and the basics of human reproduction as support. Social liberals and progressives, on the other hand, believe that marriage can exist between two consenting adults—be they a man and a woman, or a woman and a woman—and that it would be discriminatory to deny such a couple the civil, social, and economic benefits of marriage.

Marriage patterns

With single parenting and cohabitation    (when a couple shares a residence but not a marriage) becoming more acceptable in recent years, people may be less motivated to get married. In a recent survey, 39 percent of respondents answered “yes” when asked whether marriage is becoming obsolete (Pew Research Center 2010). The institution of marriage is likely to continue, but some previous patterns of marriage will become outdated as new patterns emerge. In this context, cohabitation contributes to the phenomenon of people getting married for the first time at a later age than was typical in earlier generations (Glezer 1991). Furthermore, marriage will continue to be delayed as more people place education and career ahead of “settling down.”

One partner or many?

People in the United States typically equate marriage with monogamy    , when someone is married to only one person at a time. In many countries and cultures around the world, however, having one spouse is not the only form of marriage. In a majority of cultures (78 percent), polygamy    , or being married to more than one person at a time, is accepted (Murdock 1967), with most polygamous societies existing in northern Africa and east Asia (Altman and Ginat 1996). Instances of polygamy are almost exclusively in the form of polygyny. Polygyny refers to a man being married to more than one woman at the same time. The reverse, when a woman is married to more than one man at the same time, is called polyandry    . It is far less common and only occurs in about 1 percent of the world’s cultures (Altman and Ginat 1996). The reasons for the overwhelming prevalence of polygamous societies are varied but they often include issues of population growth, religious ideologies, and social status.

Questions & Answers

How can we define symbolic interaction in family?
hafsa Reply
how does technology impact the soceity?
Lizzy Reply
technology impulse the society to change its manners . bcz society cannot b live without. it has to adopt technology with it's new trend.
Sajjad
who can tell me benefits of sociological imaginations?
Mohamed Reply
who cn tell me benefits of sociological imaginations?
Mohamed
please someone should elaborate on gerontology..
onoja Reply
study of ageing proccess is called gerontology...
Ayaz
why is sociology a science
Joseph Reply
Because its study human individual, group and the society
Baba
b/c the subject matter of sociology is the behavior of human being and society ...and sociology studies these under sceintific method ...empiricaly and clearly...it include all scientific method in its every study level...... 1.observation 2.research or literature reveiw 3.hypothesis 4.testing 5.th
Ayaz
5.theory sociology solve every problem with the help of above methods ...and it is clear that subject which solve any problem by such method is science..
Ayaz
it is a systematically study of human behaviour. sociology is a science bcoz it search the fact behind the behaviour.
derhagwara
socialogy as prospective? explain.
Natasha Reply
sorry i dont know you explain plz
Tariq
I think it is about sociologist view I just want to confirm it
Natasha
Negative impact of family in the Society
Bode Reply
when the family does not pamper their offspring properly it badly effects the society....with my piont of veiw....
Ayaz
can you give me answers please
Bode
negative impact the way people treat badly 😔 with other people
Natasha
HAY so [her sisters medical ROBOT ASSASSIN TOY digital twins tri following ahead freed screens per picosecond Forrester quit quick enough question
Matthew Reply
who is the founder of sociology
Amartey Reply
august comte
Salina
how does the French revolution contribute to the emergence of sociology?
Amartey
sorry I don't know about this
Salina
french sociologist established two theories about the emergence of sociology.1.empiricism 2.positivism
Ayaz
founder is Allama ibn khaldum
Aj
how to identify variables
Paula Reply
there are two kind of variables dependent and independent u can't identify it u just take if it causes some changes in the phenomenon or not.
Atal
What is social anthropology
Muhammad Reply
what is the ralationship b/w socoilogy and anthrapology?
Fawad Reply
what is mobility
Nanlop Reply
the ability to move between different level in society or employment
Salina
Explain different prsfctives of sociology..
Naseer
It includes structural mobility(in between classes) as well as geographical mobility(migration)
Atal
Bega khu bl msg n post kedo
Salina
sanga.
Naseer
his snga na
Salina
msg na post kido
Naseer
awoo kna
Salina
Da wale sa chall o pke.
Naseer
the symbolic interactionist perspective,functionalist and conflict
Salina
pta na lge nu ma try kola khu na kedo
Salina
av kna ma hm dera try ukra kho msg na post kido
Naseer
hhhh lga taso wli try kola ?
Salina
hase msg hm kawo khob na ratlo
Naseer
kha kha z khu darik bya oda shwe oma che na kedo
Salina
mala kho khob na ratlo pa 4bje oda shwy oma.
Naseer
chu chu shukordy
Salina
lga taso bega s soch kaw che da ma akhir chat chasr kaw sok oo ...lga che snga bae dase lga?
Salina
av knna
Naseer
khaaa
Salina
hlw
sohel
Hes pata rata na lge av na me sa soch kry o kho ma wl bs hase yw group o msg me pke wka
Naseer
kha saeda
Salina
av kana
Naseer
hmm
Salina
monz
Naseer
koma baba sahr m na o kry os b okm lg time baad
Salina
sahar wle
Naseer
Na om poha shwe oda oma
Salina
kha bia tk
Naseer
Da language na khu da dir na lgae
Salina
hga sanga
Naseer
Ma we k dir side language lg change v
Salina
nana g da dir yama
Naseer
kha saeda
Salina
ok monx kuma.see u
Naseer
Dont make this a chat room... it's irritating to see such pathetic discussions again and again
Trending
ok
Salina
relationships of sociology
khanirshad Reply
social relationship
Natasha
what are the important of sociology
Abdul Reply
to know about the society and the world
Natasha
to discover trends in society or gain knowledge, to identify social problems and solve them and to predict the consequnces
Atal
To know the structure of the society and how it functions.
derhagwara
man want to know everything ,even about a human being, but only by structurly and physically. Thus he couldn't subdue anything but a man. Sociology teaches us to learn about a men by mentally. ie the humanity. this is the right way of peace achieving. so the sociology is a key element for humanity.
Sajjad
to the life circle of human being toward in his environment
Joram
to know the life circle of human being toward in his environment
Joram

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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