StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Family - Essay Example

Nobody downloaded yet

Extract of sample

This paper explores the argument that the family is in decline. Firstly, a definition of family will be provided. Secondly, three theoretical perspectives will be presented in regards to the family being in decline. Finally, a conclusion will synthesize the main points raised in this paper, and provide recommendations for future research.
Defining what a family is is a highly contentious issue. In 1949 George Murdock defined a family as a group of people that includes two of both sexes, at least tow of who have a legally sanctioned relationship, and one or more children. This view was upheld by functionalist theorists such as Parsons and Goode (Parsons & Bales 1955, Goode 1963 cited in Levy, Widmer, & Kellerhals, 2002). However, over time the variety of families in industrialised societies has increased dramatically, hence its definition has been modified. Macionis and Plummer (2002) define a family as a social institution that can be found to exist in all societies. The function of the institution being to unite people into a cooperative group, to enable survival and raising of children, socialization of children and a regulation of the sexual activity of the people within the group. The family unit being a social group of two or more people who may be related through blood or marriage, or through adoption or by virtue of cohabitation or family by choice, and so share in the economic and social responsibilities (Macionis & Plummer, 2002).
In 21st globalised society numerous forms of family structure exist: the nuclear family remains, with two parents and children, although the term has been extended to include same sex couples who may not be married; the reconstituted family that combines two one-parent families; single-parent families; and the extended family which may be "vertical" in that grandparents live within the home, or "horizontal" in that relatives of the same generation as the parents are included in the family household. It is due to the various forms that a family exist in contemporary society that a functionalist approach contends that the family is in decline, as they perceive the changes to the basic family structure as having negative effects not only on familial inter-relations, but on family member's interactions with the wider society (Marcia, 2006). Further, that the acceptance of the diversity of family structures reflects the negative orientation of social values and beliefs that can only lead to more negative impacts on society as a whole (Henderson, Tickmyer, & Tadlock, 2005).
Decline, Democratisation or Continuity
According to the functionalist approach the de-traditionalization of the family is due changing social values that emphasize individualization, which is causing a decline of the family unit (Murray, 1994 cited in Gillies, 2003). Family values have become constrained and impacted on the family identity leading to a weakening of intra-familial ties; this in turn has severely impacted on wider social harmony (e.g., increased crime rates, less concern for the well-being of others). As such, the interests of the "self" ...Show more


Family is a social unit of two or more people who cohabit, may be related through marriage, blood ties or choice, and share in socialisation processes of children whether they are biological or adopted (Macionis & Plummer, 2002). Many theories and models within sociology argue that the family has undergone dramatic structural and inter-personal changes following post-industrialization and its subsequent social changes…
Author : wardderrick
Family Essay essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Family Essay"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

xii). The family that is being analysed obviously has some issues that could easily cross the line into social work. “Working with families has always been part of social work. Cybernetic theory is basically the study of systems, which is definitely employed in systems family therapy.
11 pages (2750 words) Essay
Family Counseling Essay
These roles are determined only by biological structures but due to predetermined social rules and norms, the result is the development of every individual’s value systems, personality characteristics, problem-solving techniques, attitudes and views about different concepts and ideas, e.g.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Family culture essay
Culture shapes individuals way of growing up and dictates the kind of person they will be in the future. This is because children pick up the values and morals from their parents. At times, people have tried to move away from their family culture by changing their course of life but it does not happen.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Family Culture Essay
These changes, coupled with a high rate of divorce have substantially shifted the headship of the family from men to women. This paper presents an analysis of the Hispanic family culture made with the interview conducted with my grandfather. When my family first immigrated to the US, my grandfather was the head of the family.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Family Therapy Essay
Social relationships are voluntary, but the familial ones are not (Benjamin, 1977). When 'power' or rules are understood to refer to a form of involuntary relationship, this power will lead to abuses. So, dictatorships in family relations will develop duplicity, passive rebellion (passive aggressive behavior), and other forms of behavior that in an interpersonal relationship would be called psychopathological (Hill, 1949), and the therapist is to deal with it.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Family College Essay
The metaphors are many but the concept is the same. The presence of parents, grandparents and relatives under the same roof (which still happens in many cultures) is no longer prevalent as modern-day families function more as nuclear units with only parents and sibling/s.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Essay - Family Vacation
My reasons for choosing Ireland are wide and varied, thus, with the above facts I hope to convince my immediate family of the relevance of vacationing across the
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
This is often not the case in the extended family structure. In extended families, although several generations live together and the elders get an opportunity to see their
1 pages (250 words) Essay
The Jones family
The social conditioning of personality development carries a concrete historical character. The main feature of personality is that it is formed from early
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Comparison-contrast essay/ Two-career family versus one-career family
Is it fully beneficial for both families to pursue their careers? Or is it better when one of the parents creates time for family? According to Blair-Loy (2006) the world today has changed. Both men and women want to
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Hire a pro to write
a paper under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Contact Us