A sociological perspective on the family
- Definition of family: Now and before.
- Family: The present trend.
- Working families.
- Single parent family.
- Multigenerational families.
- Homosexual families.
- Reasons for changes and future trends.
This essay will discuss and analyze the concept of the family from a sociological perspective. Families are the foundation of all societies. They can be formed by father-mother-children combination or even more complicated combination of aunt-cousin-grand relatives along with father and mother. In the primary stage of family life in the United States everyone from every generation lived together in one or two houses. Those were the multigenerational families. After that, the idea of traditional family evolved. Married couple with children is often called traditional families. "The family is a social institution that unites people in cooperative groups to oversee the bearing and raising of children." (Macionis P.336) Family scholars Bubolz and Sontag have their own definition of family:
[...] What is usually seen as a family crisis is really a larger social crisis that requires a broader social response. Today's families are troubled and having hard time responding creatively to the on-going trend but they are not falling apart. Families are in the middle of an evolution. Some changes have been good, others bad, and still others both good and bad. But given the breadth and depth of changes in family life, the changes both for the better and the worse have been disruptive. [...]
[...] Another substantial change that put a huge dent on the traditional family is homosexuality. Homosexuals are coming out with full force not only to be recognized as married couples, but also to form families by adopting children. Working Families: Working families are those where one of the spouses or both spouses work full-time or part-time. In the past husband was the breadwinner to the families. But situation has been changing by the increasing number of families where both husband and wife work. [...]
[...] David Popenoe, a conservative, concluded that it might not be an exaggeration to say that the family is falling apart. On the other hand, liberals cheer the on-going changes up. They reject the traditional family because it perpetuates social inequality and encourages patriarchy. Liberals applaud the breakdown of the traditional family as a measure of social progress. Judith Stacey, of course a liberal, argues that traditional family is more problem than solution. She says: "The family is not here to stay. [...]