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Marriage and the Family: What does family mean to you??Explain in no

 Marriage and the Family 


What does family mean to you? Explain in no less than 200 words

All writing assignments, discussions, tests, examinations, and projects must be created in a narrative format. Bullet points and lists are unacceptable unless the bullet points and lists are followed by a detailed description or explanation that follows the narrative format.  

(I am a family oriented person, with my family and close friends)- Family means a lot to me- born and raised with a West-Indian back ground and family is always number one. 

 Course Materials: Lamanna, Mary Ann and Agnes Riedmann. Marriages and Families, 13th ed. Cengage, 2018.ISBN: 978-128573697- 

CHAPTER 1: FAMILY COMMITMENTS: Making Choices in a Changing Society




What is a family:

· Traditionally, both law and social science have specified that the family consists of people related by blood, marriage, or adoption.

· Common household, economic interdependency, and sexual and reproductive relations

· U.S. Census Bureau defines a family as two or more people who share a household, reside together, and are related by blood, marriage, or adoption.

· Burgess and Locke: “primary group”. Any group in which there is a close, face-to-face relationship. For them, family interaction occurred primarily in the context of traditional (heterosexual, married-couple, gender-differentiated) social roles, rather than in emphasizing spontaneity, individuality, and intimacy.


· OTHER DEFINITIONS The collective body of persons who live in one house, and under one head or manager; a household, including parents, children, and servants, and, as the case may be, lodgers or boarders.

· Those who descend from one common progenitor; a tribe, clan, or race; kindred; house; as, the human family; the family of Abraham; the father of a family.

Definitions of the family on the Web

· a social unit living together; "he moved his family to Virginia"; "It was a good Christian household"; "I waited until the whole house was asleep"; "the teacher asked how many people made up his home"

· primary social group; parents and children; "he wanted to have a good job before starting a family"

· people descended from a common ancestor; "his family has lived in Massachusetts since the Mayflower"

· class: a collection of things sharing a common attribute; "there are two classes of detergents"

· an association of people who share common beliefs or activities; "the message was addressed not just to employees but to every member of the company family"; "the church welcomed new members into its fellowship"

· (biology) a taxonomic group containing one or more genera; "sharks belong to the fish family"

· kin: a person having kinship with another or others; "he's kin"; "he's family"

· syndicate: a loose affiliation of gangsters in charge of organized criminal activities

New Definitions of the Family


· Family is defined in terms of benefits by employers

· Domestic partners

· Extended families

NOTE: Review the Issues for Thought Box on page 4 “Pets as Family”


The Freedom and Pressures of Choosing

· People need to understand themselves in the context of the larger society.

· Choices depend on alternatives that exist in their social environment and on cultural values and attitudes toward those alternatives

· Staying single longer is a more comfortable choice today than 30 or 40 years ago

· Social factors can influence personal choices by expanding people’s options. Example reproductive technology.

· Social factors can also limit people’s options. For example, higher education is more important than marriage influencing a delay in marriage.


Making Choices

· Choosing by default: choices made when people are not aware of alternative choices.

· Choosing knowledgeably: recognizing as many options or alternatives as possible. Also recognizing the social pressures that may influence personal choices, cultural norms, and socially prescribed beliefs, values, and standards.


Note:   Review Figure 1.2:   The cycle of knowledgeable decision making.  This diagram illustrates the process of making a knowledgeable decision by showing the connection between the environment and the individual. Part of the process requires becoming aware of your values and choosing to act consistently with them. By clarifying one’s values, one is able to cut through the ambivalence and make a decision. 


A Family of Individuals


· Family Values : togetherness, loyalty, and stability focus on the family as a whole.

· Familism : placing family wellbeing over individual interests and preferences

· Boundaries : can be physical and/or psychological between themselves and the rest of the world. The boundaries reflect the families’ personal space. The family makes the decision on who can or cannot enter.

· The archival family function  is another way families create a place to belong. The function is to create, store, preserve and pass on particular objects, events, or rituals that members consider relevant to their personal identity as a family. Examples are photos, artifacts from infancy, and symbols of recognition and/or achievement.

· Family Decline : refers to a perspective that self-indulgence of the baby-boom generation has resulted in less commitment to family and the values associated with family. The perspective believes the focus is on the individual as opposed to the family as one.

· Family Change : refers to an alternative perspective to family decline. The perspective is that the family has changed but the family remains important. Families were broken up due to illness, death, divorce, remarriages, etc. The family has remained important; it is the composition of the family that has changed. An example is single parents.




Marriage & the Family
Chapter 1

  • Defining Family
  • Making Choices
  • A Family of Individuals
  • Marriages and Families: Four Themes


Defining Family

  • Law and Science
  • People related by blood, marriage or adoption.
  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • Two or more persons who share a household and who are related by blood, marriage or adoption.


Which of These Is a Family?

  • A husband and wife and their offspring.
  • A single woman and her three children.
  • A 52-year-old woman and her adoptive mother.
  • A man, his daughter, and the daughter’s son.
  • An 84-year-old widow and her dog, Fido.
  • A man and all of his ancestors back to Adam and Eve.


Which of These Is a Family?

  • Two lesbians and their children from a previous marriage of one woman and a previous relationship of the other woman with a male friend.
  • Two children, their divorced parents, the current spouses of their divorced parents, and the children from previous marriages of their stepparents.


Which of These Is a Family?

  • Two adult male cousins living together.
  • A 77-year-old man and his best friend.
  • A childless husband and wife who live 1,000 miles apart.
  • A divorced man, his girlfriend, and her child.
  • Both sets of parents of a deceased married couple.
  • Six adults and their 12 young children, all living together in a communal fashion.


American Households, 2000


Facts: U.S. Families Today

  • Fewer people are currently married.
  • People are postponing marriage.
  • Cohabitation has emerged as a lifestyle intermediate between marriage and
  • Some cohabitants maintain gay and lesbian domestic partnerships.


Facts: U.S. Families Today

  • The number of people living alone is substantial.
  • Many adult children live with their parents.
  • A much higher proportion of older men than older women are married.


Facts: U.S. Families Today

  • Parenthood is increasingly postponed and fertility has declined.
  • More births are to unmarried mothers than in the past.
  • There are now fewer children and more elderly.
  • Divorce rates have stabilized, but remain high.


Facts: U.S. Families Today

  • Remarriage rates have declined, but remain high.
  • Most children live in two parent households.
  • Over the last five years the proportion of children living in singleparent families has stabilized.


Facts: U.S. Families Today

  • There is considerable variation in children’s living arrangements.
  • Children are more likely to live with a grandparent today than in the recent past.
  • Most parents are working parents.
  • Children are more likely than the general population or the elderly to be living in poverty.


New Definition of Family

  • Any sexually expressive or parent–child or other kin relationship in which people related by ancestry, marriage, or adoption:

Form an economic unit and care for any young.

Consider their identity to be significantly attached to the group.

Commit to maintaining that group over time.


Marriages and Families:
Four Themes

Personal decisions must be made throughout the life course.

Decision making is a trade-off; once we choose an option, we discard alternatives.

No one can have everything.

The best way to make choices is knowledgeably.


Marriages and Families:
Four Themes

People are influenced by the society around them.

Cultural beliefs and values influence our attitudes and decisions.

Societal or structural conditions can limit or expand our options.


Marriages and Families:
Four Themes

We live in a changing society, characterized by increased ethnic, economic, and family diversity; by increased tension between familistic and individualistic values; by decreased marital and family permanence; and by increased political and policy attention to the needs of children.

  • This situation can make personal decision making more difficult and more important.


Marriages and Families:
Four Themes

Personal decision making feeds into society and changes it.

  • We affect our social environment every time we make a choice.
  • Making family decisions can mean choosing to become politically involved in order to effect family-related social change.
  • Making family choices according to our values gives our family lives greater integrity.


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