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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

what did August comte(1798-1857) say about social dynamics?
elia Reply
what is a monogamous family?
Basu Reply
family or marriage ?
asad
what is a monogamous family?
Basu
?
asad
What is family
Sukhjit Reply
family is type of relationship in this it deals with positive and negative tearms and conditions
unknown
who's a sociologist
Denis Reply
family is a group of people who are lived under one roof and they have a biological relation.
what is the origin and development of sociology?
namiak Reply
can any one will differentiate between social movement and pressure group?
Nasiru Reply
what is the origin and development of sociology?
namiak
Do you believe that Americans may be somewhat more ethnocentric than people in the other Western industrial nations? If so, why might this be the case? If not, why is this widely believed?
Elizabeth Reply
first of all the nation have the belive an faith in their ritualistic religion people go in different temple but they don't knew the culture and the ritual of all religions so human make the braches of religion and human follows it also with this Americans also follow their own god and goodness ...
unknown
Yes, because Americans are more inclined to their culture and want to superimpose theirs to the entire world. They always show their supremacy.
Hemendra
why do people deviate from socital norms
cornelius Reply
people deviate from scital norms because their reputation matter that is why they do not involve themself in big issue of society to solve the problem. They see what is going on they are aslo intrested to knew but they not say anything on that time its a human nature which is selfishness kind...
unknown
whar is the correct ans ?
unknown
what*
unknown
what is the difference between sociology, physiology and
Evelyn Reply
what is sociology
Jobee Reply
Sociology is the study of society, patterns of social relationships, social interaction and culture of everyday life. 
Aamirah
Sociology is simply the study of culture and society
Kooko
sociology is a social science that studies human behavior
Nelly
sociology stands socious. sociology is the study of social awareness to knew the knowlege of social culture and social issue .sociology aways follow the instruction of social behavior in the society . it have some rule and regulation
unknown
sociology is the study of culture and individual behavior of a particular society or community
galiwango
Sociology deals with the study of society, patterns of social relationships, social interactions and culture of everyday life
Steve
the relevant of sociology
Tamba
The study of sociology helps the individual to understand human society and how social system work....
ogbe
What is Sociology? The first social scientist to use the term sociology was a Frenchman by the name of Auguste Comte who lived from 1798-1857. As coined by Comte, the term sociology is a combination of two words. The first part of the term is a Latin, socius- that may variously mean society, associ
idris
yes August comte is a father of sociology
Salahu Reply
yes in english Augustus comte is the father of sociologist
unknown
augste comte was first use the word sociology... and tried to create a science if society
fadi
May You give me "Deviance and Conformity" For assignment
Mankai Reply
what is deviance
Abdullahi
Deviance means deviate behaviour (to safe him or her from any social issue of society)and conformity for assignment means conform for work (HE OR SHE is willing to do that work with full of conformation )
unknown
definition of culture
Ameh Reply
culture is habit of a society, pattern of social interaction and life style
fadi
Culture is the totality ways of peoples life.
Nwoye
What is the Scope of Sociology?
Mankai
scope of sociology is the study of social awareness and it have the some diffrent boundaries to follow the some rules and regulations in it
unknown
No..... scope is not correct as told by Akriri
capt
scope is a subject matter where we study about the particular area .Every science have own field of inquiry becouse it is difficult to study science systematically
unknown
scope of sociology is to develop our understanding of societal units and it provides us opportunity to serve them as well through adjoining various social groups and NGOs.
Lokesh
yes.... to some extent scope is subject matter but we must understand scope of sociology by understanding what is NOT a thing to be studied by sociologists eg. phycological aspects.
capt
Identify and criticize 1 psychological theory of sociological development
bobby
what do you make of Karl max's contribution to sociology?
Kategaya Reply
Classic Marxist theory has been criticised for being economically deterministic. Marx argued that 'economic laws' determined not only the shape of society but also the direction of history itself. ... The Communist Revolutions in Eastern Europe did not lead to greater equality and freedom
Yusuf Reply
exactly
Muhammed
sociology ke father kaun hai
Akash
i think auguste comte
fadi
auguste comte
Kinnu

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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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