The term family and the family choices in human society
In human society, a family (from Latin : familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of society. Ideally, families would offer predictability, structure, and safety as members mature and participate in the community. In most societies, it is within families that children acquire socialization for life outside the family. Additionally, as the basic unit for meeting the basic needs of its members, it provides a sense of boundaries for performing tasks in a safe environment, ideally builds a person into a functional adult, transmits culture, and ensures continuity of humankind with precedents of knowledge.
Anthropologists generally classify most family organizations as matrifocal (a mother and her children); patrifocal (a father and his children); conjugal (a wife, her husband, and children, also called the nuclear family ); avuncular (for example, a grandparent, a brother, his sister, and her children); or extended (parents and children co-reside with other members of one parent’s family).
Members of the immediate family may include spouses, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters. Members of the extended family may include aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, and siblings-in-law . Sometimes these are also considered members of the immediate family, depending on an individual’s specific relationship with them, and the legal definition of “immediate family” varies. Sexual relations with family members are regulated by rules concerning incest such as the incest taboo .
The field of genealogy aims to trace family lineages through history. The family is also an important economic unit studied in family economics . The word “families” can be used metaphorically to create more inclusive categories such as community, nationhood , global village , and
The term family of choice , also sometimes referred to as “chosen family,” is common within the LGBT community, veterans, individuals who have suffered abuse, and those who have no contact with biological “parents”. It refers to the group of people in an individual’s life that satisfies the typical role of family as a support system. The term differentiates between the “family of origin” (the biological family or that in which people are raised) and those that actively assume that ideal role. The family of choice may or may not include some or all of the members of the family of origin. This terminology stems from the fact that many LGBT individuals, upon coming out , face rejection or shame from the families they were raised in.> The term family of choice is also used by individuals in the 12 step communities, who create close-knit “family” ties through the recovery process.
As a family system, families of choice face unique issues. Without legal safeguards, family’s of choice may struggle when medical, educational, or governmental institutions fail to recognize their legitimacy. If members of the chosen family have been disowned by their family of origin, they may experience surrogate grief, displacing anger, loss, or anxious attachment onto their new family.
The term blended family or stepfamily describes families with mixed parents: one or both parents remarried, bringing children of the former family into the new family. Also in sociology, particularly in the works of social psychologist
Michael Lamb , traditional family refers to “a middle-class family with a bread-winning father and a stay-at-home mother, married to each other and raising their biological children,” and
nontraditional to exceptions to this rule. Most of the US households are now non-traditional under this definition. Critics of the term “traditional family” point out that in most cultures and at most times, the extended family model has been most common, not the nuclear family, though it has had a longer tradition in England than in other parts of Europe and Asia which contributed large numbers of immigrants to the Americas. The nuclear family became the most common form in the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s.
In terms of communication patterns in families, there are a certain set of beliefs within the family that reflect how its members should communicate and interact. These family communication patterns arise from two underlying sets of beliefs. One being conversation orientation (the degree to which the importance of communication is valued) and two, conformity orientation (the degree to which families should emphasize similarities or differences regarding attitudes, beliefs, and values).
A monogamous family is based on a legal or social
monogamy. In this case, an individual has only one (official) partner during their lifetime or at any one time (i.e. serial monogamy). This means that a person may not have several different legal spouses at the same time, as this is usually prohibited by bigamy laws, in jurisdictions that require monogamous marriage
Polygamy is a marriage that includes more than two partners. When a man is married to more than one wife at a time, the relationship is called polygyny ; and when a woman is married to more than one husband at a time, it is called
polyandry. If a marriage includes multiple husbands and wives, it can be called
polyamory,group or conjoint marriage .
Polygyny is a form of plural marriage, in which a man is allowed more than one wife . In modern countries that permit polygamy, polygyny is typically the only form permitted. Polygyny is practiced primarily (but not only) in parts of the
Middle East and Africa ; and is often associated with Islam , however, there are certain conditions in Islam that must be met to perform