Family as a social institution Essay
Family as a social institution
Social institution is a set system with values, roles, norms and statutes organized in a manner that satisfies societal needs. One major example of a social institution is the family which is defined as a group of people related by blood, marriage or adoption who lives together and share economic resources. American families are mostly organized in form of nuclear family which consists of father, mother and children. Extended family is another form of family arrangement recognized by Americans and consists of uncles, aunts and grand parents.
The family structure has changed in various aspects that are related to certain social factors. Andrew J. Cherlin in his book argues that marriage in America has taken new direction different from other developed and developing nations. Marriage which is a bond that leads to existence of a family is faced with a lot of conflicts such as same sex marriage. One major social aspect that has led to changes in family structure is adoption of different cultural ideals. Family is considered as a means of formal commitment through which individuals share life with one another but this is taking another shape because of different ideologies.
Through marriage, an aspect of individualism is emphasized by personal choice which is a form of self development that tries to make a family live as one unit. Nuclear type of family is mostly recognized in U. S but growth of population and adoption of different cultural practices has led to changes in family structure. The social aspect of population growth and its impact on family structure can be attributed with migration of family members from overseas countries. Individuals move from other countries to U. S in search of better jobs or to further their education.
Once they are in America, such individuals are hosted by family members such as uncles or aunts making the structure of family to change. A family that consisted of husband, wife and children massively expands making its structure to change. Thus population growth and migration of individuals is attributed with changes in family organization or structure. Adoption of cultural practices through intermarriage is another social factor that has led to changes in family structure. In the recent past, individuals from different cultures marry.
This allows people to adopt certain cultural practices whereby the role of husband, wife and children changes. Every individual in a family organization has his or her role to play as is defined by the Holy Book but nowadays changes have been adopted in defining the role of each family member. Civilization is a social factor that has led to changes in the structure of family. Most families in developing nations have adopted the live of western countries making the structure of family to change. The role of the family as a social institution
Family plays important role in respect to certain responsibilities on children and the entire society as a whole. A family is a social institution that observed certain values, norms or statutes with an objective of existing as one unit. One major role of family in relation to its function on children is to provide the basic needs. Children in a family constitute people below the age of 18 years. Such individuals are not in a position to find money on their own and thus depend on parents to provide for them basic needs. Basic needs in this aspect consist of food, shelter and clothing which should be provided by husband and wife.
Another basic role of family to children is enforcement of norms such as discipline, ethical considerations, moral values and strong base on religion. Parents in a family are supposed to provide strong discipline to their children so as to have a bright future. Discipline is one of the core things a family cannot deny its children because it is the beginning of wisdom and adoption of good moral values. Parents should teach their children about religion when they are young so as to have a strong base in Christianity, Islamic teachings, Hinduism and any other form of religion recognized by the constitution.
Parents in a family are very instrumental in the aspect of teaching children how to behave and be responsible adults. Family as a social institution plays a very important role concerning the entire society. A society is a collection of many families with common goal and objective of sharing economic resources. Family members play a very important role through provision of needed services to serve the society. The parents work in various sectors of the economy thus they participate through collective responsibility.
Certain services that are provided by the parents include teaching, nursing, accounting, engineering and legal services. All these services are needed by other members in the society and thus it avails services required by the entire community. The family engages in various social activities in the society whereby the children participate in schools, churches games, competition and entire society. It is a very important role that sees children grow as one unit which is a symbol of unity and peace. Work Cited Kirkpatrick Clifford, 1955, The Family as Process and Institution.