Family is a group of people who are related to each other and live in the same. household. Family members are related to the family by birth, marriage, and adoption. This shows three characteristics of the family.
These are – the couple gets the moral status of husband and wife by getting married and they also establish physical relations. Second, family means having a single residential space for all its members. Of course, it has also been observed that sometimes one or more members of the family may have to stay away from home for work temporarily. In the same way, old parents, uncle-tau, and their children are also part of the family.
Third, the family consists not only of the married couple but also of children – their own or adopted (adopted). Couples give birth to their children and adopted children are legally adopted by the couple. The family is the first organized unit of society.
It is difficult to define family.Because in the world the same meaning of family is taken. There is a society where only one husband and wife family is found. Some societies have polygamous families and some have multiple husbands. From the point of view of the structure, there are central families.
There are extended or joint families in the countries of Asia such as India or Japan. It is very difficult to give such a definition of family which is equally applicable to all societies.
What is the meaning of family and what is the definition of family :
The word family is a variation of the English word ‘Family’, which is derived from the Latin word ‘Famulus’. The word family has not always been assigned the same meaning. Under the original Latin word ‘Familias’, parents, children, servants, and slaves were also included. The Greeks used the word ‘Oikonomia’ for the family, which meant a larger group than the above group. Generally, the family consists of parents and their children.
What is The Definition of Family :
Family is the union of husband and wife with children, or to some extent, permanent union or union of a single man or woman with children
Ms. Mciver and Page “Family refers to a group based on sexual relations that is small and permanent enough to produce and bring up children.”
Mrs. Burgess and Locke “Family is the name of the group of persons in which they form a household, not separate but bound by marriage, blood or adoption. In this household, they influence each other as husband-wife, mother-father, son-daughter, and brother-sister and establish relations with each other. They all give birth to and maintain a common culture in a household.
Ms. Weils and Hauser “Family can be defined briefly as a social group whose members are related to each other based on blood.”
Definition and Types of Family :
1. Joint Family
Family is considered very important in our country. What are the characteristics of joint and nuclear families? The joint family is made up of a few nuclear families and it is quite large. It consists of husband and wife, unmarried girls, married boys, their wives, and children.
It is a group of people who have lived together for one or two generations. The characteristics of joint family are given below.
- 1 All the members live under one roof.
- 2 All the members have a common kitchen.
- 3 All the members share the property of the family.
- 4 All the members participate together in family events, festivals, and religious celebrations.
Decisions in a joint family are taken by the eldest male member of the household.
Traditionally only joint families were found in our society. Now change is coming, especially in urban areas. The practice of joint family still continues in agricultural households.
The Advantages of a Joint Family are :
- 1 It makes family members friendly. Work, especially agricultural work, can be done by dividing it.
- 2 It takes care of the old, helpless, and unemployed in the family.
- 3 Small children are well brought up, especially when both parents are working.
On the death of the mother or father, the child gets full emotional and financial support in the joint family.
There are also Some Problems of joint Family-
- 1 Sometimes women are given less respect.
- 2 Often disputes arise between the members regarding property or any business.
- 3 Some women have to do all the household work. They get very little time and opportunity to develop their personality.
2. Nuclear Family :
In which the husband and wife and their unmarried children live. Sometimes the husband’s unmarried brother or sister may also live with him. Then it would be an extended family. Some of the benefits of living in a nuclear family are-
1 Nuclear family members are generally more self-dependent and they are confident and able to take initiative in any work.
2 In nuclear families, children are encouraged to take decisions on their own, which increases their confidence.
3 deep emotional attachment develops between the 3 members. This is possible due to more solitude and social interaction opportunities which are well available in nuclear families.
4 It has been observed that where society becomes more industrialized and urban, the chances of having a nuclear family increase. One of the major reasons for the abundance of nuclear families in big cities in the housing problem. Large families also need more space to live. If families want to live comfortably, they have no option but to live in a nuclear family.
Problems of Nuclear Families
In nuclear families, newly married couples do not have the support of any elders. There is no experienced person available to advise them. When both the parents are working, there is no one to look after the children.
In bad times, the family has no financial and emotional support. The values of cohesion, working together and cooperation are hard to learn in nuclear families.
Main Elements of The Family :
The institution of family is universal but it is also true that family is not the same in all societies. Somewhere there is a polygamous family, somewhere there is polyandry. Some are patrilineal families and some are matrilineal. Notwithstanding this variation, the majority of families are husband-wife families. Here we will mention the common symptoms found in the family –
1 Sexual relation – In all societies, sexual relations are found in the family.
2 Reproduction – Family is a very large trait of progeny. It has been a belief of people all over the world that if reproduction is not done, then the continuity of society will end.
3 Financial bondage – Families are not formed only by the acceptance of sexual relations. The work of tying the family members in one thread is done by financial bondage.
4 Rearing – The dependence of the offspring of human beings on the family is much more than that of the animals. The family takes care of the children; He gives them education and in our country, the family gets married and provides financial independence.
5 Family Size – Perhaps the biggest feature of a family is its size. Generally, in a family, there are children in addition to husband and wife. Sometimes in addition to these members, there are other members in the family, such families are called extended or joint families. More than two generations live in these families.
Family Functions :
1 Family provides the best care for newborns and children, adolescents, the sick, and the elderly.
2 It educates its members who learn to live life in a family setting. Children are taught the rules of society, and also how to socialize with other people and how to respect and obey the elders, etc.
3 Basic needs of each member of the family such as food, shelter, and clothing are provided. They help with household chores and responsibilities.
4 It is also a source of entertainment. Family can be a source of happiness where all the members can interact, play and do different activities with each other. These activities can be from domestic work to festivals or birth, engagement, and marriage, etc.
5 The family also performs the task of socialization of the children. Parents also teach children the lessons of living together with people, loving, sharing, helping in times of need, and discharging responsibility.
6 The family also performs sexual functions which are the biological needs of every living being.