Basics in Social Science
“Family and Marriage”–
What is Family?
Family is considered to be one of the oldest institutions of the society.
Sociologists have traditionally viewed the family as a social group whose members are related by ancestry, marriage, or adoption and live together, cooperate economically, and care for the young. (Murdock, 1949)
❖ When we think of a family, we picture it as a more or less durable association of husband and wife with or without children or of a man or woman alone with children. (“Marriage and the Family”-Ogburn & Nimcoff).
❖ The family is a group defined by a sex relationship sufficiently precise and enduring to provide for the ...view middle of the document...
Responsibility of the members
7. Social regulation
8. Its permanent and temporary nature
(N.B. Please go through the books to understand the elaboration of the above characteristics of the family).
Forms/Types of the family:
I. According to the degree of power/authority:
a. Patriarchal family
b. Matriarchal family
c. Egalitarian family –when power and authority are equally distributed between husband and wife.
II. According to post marital place of residence:
a. Patrilocal family
b. Matrilocal family
c. Neolocal family
III. According to size of descent and property inheritance:
c. Bilineal- under the bilineal arrangement, both sides of an individual’s family are equally important.
IV. According to size of family:
a. Nuclear family
b. Joint family
c. Extended family
V. According to the number of spouses:
a. Monogamous family
b. Polygynous family
c. Polyandrous family
d. Family based on group marriage
VI. According to principles of the selection of marriages:
a. Exogamous family
b. Endogamous family
Functions of Family:
i. Biological functions
ii. Psychological functions
iii. Educational functions
iv. Economic functions
v. Maintenance functions
vi. Political functions
vii. Religious functions
viii. Socialization functions
ix. Recreational functions
• The functionalist perspective of family
Functionalist theorists stress that if a society is to survive and operate with some measure of effectiveness, it must guarantee that certain essential tasks are performed. The performance of these tasks-or functions- cannot be left to chance. Although families show a great deal of variation throughout the world, it seeks to identify a number of recurrent functions families typically perform.
c) Care, protection and emotional support
d) Assignment of status
e) Regulation of sexual behavior
• The conflict perspective of family:
Conflict theorists view the family, like all institutions, as a reflection of the inequality of the larger society in terms of wealth and power. Many conflict theorists have seen the family as a social arrangement benefiting some people more than others.
Friedrich Engels (1884/1902) viewed the...