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Sociology : Families - Essay Example

Nevertheless, in most types of families, men are considered the head and have the responsibility of providing for their families. Old Types of Families Nuclear family Nuclear families have been in existence since time in memorial. They were often referred to as conjugal families, which consist of a father, mother, and children. According to Kendall (2011, p.349), nuclear families are normally based on the number of generations that live. However, a nuclear family can either be a family of procreation where children are adopted, creating legal ties between the parents and children. Secondly, this family can be in form of orientation, whereby, children are born into the family, and are tied to their parents by blood. Extended families Kendall (2011, p.351) explains that, an extended family consists of relatives and an addition of the nuclear family who probably live in the same house. The relatives may include grandparents, aunties, uncles, and cousins; this kind of setup applies mostly to the Indian families. Polygamy families Polygamy families were common in African and Asian setups; they include polygynous and polyandry families. In a polygynous setup, a man is obliged to marry many wives, who in return have children. This type of family is large in nature and it is the duty of the man to provide for this family. However today, these types of families are reducing due to the harsh economic conditions that make it impossible to provide for many wives and children at the same time (Kendall, 2011, p.352). Polyandry family Polyandry involves a marriage between one woman and several men; however, this type of marriage is rare and occurs in societies where men are few compared to women (Kendall, 2011, p.352). New Types of Families According to Levy, Widmer, & Kellerhals (2002, n.d), since 1960s, changes in family setups are evident; the divorce rate is high, fertility rates have also dropped, and single parenthood is common as a result of teenage mothers who bear children our of wedlock. Heterosexual couples are also common; therefore, the normal family setup has been affected. Single parents This kind of family is common in today’s world, and occurs as a result of women having children out of wedlock, and therefore having to raise their children all by themselves. Another case occurs from divorce, whereby, couples end their legal marriage and share the responsibility of raising the children, who are required to live with one parent. Gay families According to Kendall (2011, p.359), most gay and lesbian couples are granted the rights to start a family, especially the state of California where gay marriage is legalized. Though such marriages have been met with strong oppositions, some countries have legalized these marriages, therefore giving individuals the freedom to choose their partners. These families are allowed to adopt children, hence raising a complete family. An appropriate example lies in a gay couple Alam & Land, who adopted a boy after being were legally married in 2008 (Hill & Hawley, 2011). Lesbian couples can decide to have their own children via a sperm donor who terminates the parental rights to the child. Both partners ...Show more
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Summary

Running head: Family Families Insert Name Insert Grade Course Insert 12 November 2011 Families Families are an important aspect in people’s lives, as they provide a sense of belonging for an individual. A family can be defined as a group of people living in the same household who are related either by birth, adoption or marriage, and “they can also be connected by natural genealogical links” (Corbett, 2004, p.3)…
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