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Definition of family Essay

The definition of a family according to the U. S. Census Bureau is that a family consists of a householder and any other person living in the same household. However, the people living in the family should be related to the householder either by birth, marriage, or by adoption. The people in a family who are related to the householder are termed as his family members.

However, in some houses there might also be people living in a family who might be unrelated to the householder, therefore they are not to be included in the householder’s family while the census is being carried out and thus, the number of family households is equal to the number of families, but the family households may include more members than do families. Therefore, the crux of this would be that all the households do not contain families as they might be unrelated as well. Functions of a family Basically the two functions of a family are: • Economic functions

• Political functions Other than these two major categories, a family has a number of functions after doing which a family can be really termed as a family in a true sense and these are mentioned below. One of the most important functions is reproduction of babies and once a child is born, it is the duty of the householder to look after the children, take care of them, monitor that day to day activities, supervise them on certain things, interact with them and provide them with all the necessities and love it would require to make them good grown ups.

As it is not just necessary to give birth to the baby, however they should also be taken care of so that they survive to become adult members of the society. Two persons basically tie the knot of marriage in order to legitimize their sexual relationship and this ensures the offspring is healthy. The household head is supposed to provide economics support to the family as well as to fulfill the love, emotional, security needs of the family. In the end, I would also add that the family is looked upon in the society with respect and they have a certain position in the society than those individuals just living together without marriage.

(Schwartz & Scott, 2007). As mentioned above, a family consists of the household member who is basically responsible for his family members. However, to define my family I would say that my family does not fulfill the definition of the family mentioned above. This is because the fathers are usually the ones who are said to be the household heads and they are responsible of taking care of the family members. I am only the child in my family and my parents were divorced when I was four years old.

I am living with my Mom right now and the rest of my family is living in China. Most of the family functions that I mentioned above are not actually applicable to my family. This is because my parents had an unhappy marriage and this thing gave me a lot of bad experiences. The first function of the family is to ensure that the baby grows as an adult of a society. In my case, however I did become an adult but it was just my mother who took care of me and looked after all my needs.

A father is always necessary to make a family more strong as the responsibilities of a father are different than ones of a mother but in my case, my mother was my mother as well as my father. She was the one who was responsible for each and every activity of mine. It is believed that a family is economically supported mostly by the fathers, however as my mother had a divorce with my father, she was the one who had to support my needs all by herself. And I think that my family did not manage things well.

The divorce of my parents at the time when I was just four was a shock for me as for a family to survive well; both the mother as well as the father has to be there so that they might fulfill their own set of responsibilities and ensure that the family is living happily. However, this was not the case for my family as the divorce between my parents made things worse for me. Although my mother did all she could do for me but still the presence of the father is essential for a family to prosper well. Thus, according to me, my family did not address the functions of a family well as it was an unhappy and irresponsible family.

The fundamental purpose of each family is to fulfill the requirements and the functions of a family. It is vital for each family to fulfill their responsibilities as this not just affects the family alone but the society and the environment as well and it also affects the people around you. No one likes to be friends with the families who are not well settled in a way that the parents might have conflicts amongst each other or they might not want to live with each other and this would create lots of problems for their children.

Therefore, for a country to prosper well it is essential that the families living there are happy and contended. The functions of the family highlight the responsibilities the household head has with reference to their family. Therefore, its informative nature helps to think about families in terms of the functions it fulfills.

Reference Schwartz, M. A. & Scott, B. M. (2007). Marriages and families: Diversity and change. 5th Edn. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.


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