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Summary

Sociologists view marriage and families as societal institutions that help create the basic unit of social structure. Both marriage and a family may be defined differently—and practiced differently—in cultures across the world. Families and marriages, like other institutions, adapt to social change.

Short answer

According to research, what are people's general thoughts on family in the United States? How do they view nontraditional family structures? How do you think these views might change in twenty years?

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Explain the difference between bilateral and unilateral descent. Using your own association with kinship, explain which type of descent applies to you?

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Further research

For more information on family development and lines of descent, visit the New England Historical Genealogical Society’s web site, American Ancestors, and find out how genealogies have been established and recorded since 1845. (External Link)

References

Altman, Irwin, and Joseph Ginat. 1996. Polygamous Families in Contemporary Society . New York: Cambridge University Press.

Cohen, Philip. 2011. “Chinese: Maternal Grandmothers, Outside Women.” FamilyInequality.com , Retrieved February 13, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Glezer, Helen. 1991. “Cohabitation.” Family Matters 30:24–27.

Glick, Paul. 1989. “The Family Life Cycle and Social Change.” Family Relations 38(2):123–129.

Griver, Simon. 2008. “One Wife Isn’t Enough … So They Take Two or Three.” The Jewish Chronicle Online , April 24. Retrieved February 13, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Haak, Wolfgang et al. 2008. “Ancient DNA Reveals Male Diffusion through the Neolithic Mediterranean Route.” Proceedings of the National Association of Sciences , November 17. Retrieved February 13, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Harrell, Stevan. 2001. “Mountain Patterns: The Survival of Nuosu Culture in China.” Journal of American Folklore 114:451.

Jayson, Sharon. 2010. “What Does a ‘Family’ Look Like Nowadays?” USA Today , November 25. Retrieved February 13, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Joseph, Suad, and Afsaneh Najmabadi. 2003. “Kinship and State: Southeast Asia, East Asia, Australia and the Pacific.” Pp. 351–355 in Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures: Family, Law, and Politics . Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Academic Publishers.

Lambert, Bernd. 2009. “Ambilineal Descent Groups in the Northern Gilbert Islands.” American Anthropologist 68(3):641–664.

Lee, Richard. 2009. The American Patriot’s Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America . Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Mails, Thomas E. 1996. The Cherokee People: The Story of the Cherokees from Earliest Origins to Contemporary Times . New York: Marlowe&Co.

Murdock, George P. 1967. Ethnographic Atlas: A Summary . Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Murphy, Patrick, and William Staples. 1979. “A Modernized Family Life Cycle.” Journal of Consumer Research 6(1):12–22.

Museum of Broadcast Communications. 2010. “Family on Television.” Retrieved January 16, 2012.

O’Neal, Dennis. 2006. “Nature of Kinship.” Palomar College. Retrieved January 16, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Parsons, Talcott, and Robert Bales. 1955. Family Socialization and Interaction Process . London: Routledge.

Pew Research Center. 2010. “The Decline of Marriage and Rise of New Families.” November 18. Retrieved February 13, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Powell, Brian, Catherine Bolzendahl, Claudia Geist, and Lala Carr Steelman. 2010. Counted Out: Same-Sex Relations and Americans’ Definitions of Family . New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Respers France, Lisa. 2010. “The Evolution of the TV Family.” CNN , September 1. Retrieved February 13, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Ruoff, Jeffrey. 2002. An American Family: A Televised Life . Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Strong, B., and C. DeVault. 1992. The Marriage and Family Experience . 5th ed. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Company.

U.S. Census Bureau. 2010. “Current Population Survey (CPS).” Retrieved January 16, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Useem, Andrea. 2007. “What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Co-Wife.” Slate , July 24. Retrieved January 16, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Questions & Answers

Change in society during French and industrial revolution
Rubal Reply
what is the generally accepted definition of marriage
Onyeka Reply
marriage is the legal union between two people
JAYz
according to beathis(1980) marriage is the union between a man and women such that the children born to the woman are the legimate offsprings of both partners
Bamshak
what about socratic method
VICTOR
Victor I don't understand your question
Bamshak
I mean the current authorities who defined the Socratic method?
VICTOR
social stratifaction
Alabi Reply
definition of culture
Hassan Reply
what are the effect of poverty in education
Chileshe
poverty effects education and our children. Children living in poverty tend to be exposed to more stress, more intense & longer lasting stress that negatively impact attention, focus, cognition, IQ and social skills.
Sonasa
underachievement
Sarmin
living Style of the people is known as culture
Qudrat
Why we need social interaction?
Qudrat Reply
what is norms and beliefs
Aabid Reply
what is norms
Prince
behaviour and attitudes which are considered normal
Chileshe
what are the causes of poverty?
Chileshe
capitalism
Sarmin
what is social stratification?
Keeper
what is the difference between values. norms. and belief
Qudrat
which is most desiminated religion in the world
ahmed
Trust me I'm not too sure about the "most disseminated religion", but for my money Christianity somehow dominates...
Athenkosi
Why study sociology
mohamed Reply
I need an enlightenment on the course the military and the state?
onoja Reply
what does the open system approach in education looks at as whole?
Beau Reply
it is the vave of feminism in which feminist want to equal education for male and female
Muhmmad
of what relevance is sociology towards understanding African social thought
Abubakar Reply
What is population studies?
onoja Reply
it's the study of population the population can be family, fertility, mortality e.t.c
Abubakar
What are the subjective reality of mass communications
isah Reply
preconditions that give rise to deviance behavior
James Reply
what is group
Nazir
a collectivity of people that are United for one common purpose
Asif
what do you mean by "power to constraint"?
Chisom Reply
can someone please elaborate the main elements of ethnicity.
Tinya
What is social thought? And the difference between social thought and sociological thought
onoja Reply
social thought : these are those thoughts which belongs to the practical life of an individual mean : A man is a social animal . he learn from the society sociological thoughts : it means theoretical thoughts which are related to a book or which are taken from a book<> 📖 or which are taught in
Qudrat
social thought: has do with. our daily exchanges of ideas from one person to another. while, sociological thought: derives from the attributes of social thought and social ideology.
Keeper

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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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