Published Apr 19, 2008

The family in general is a group based on marriage and marriage contact including recognitions of the rights and duties of parenthood, common residence for husband and wife and children as well as reciprocal, economic obligation between husband and wife.

Family is a micro unit of social system.

Family is an institute of social system.

Family is a key of social system.

An institution is a part of social system.

Definition of Family:
A Family is a social and economic unit consisting minimally of one or more parents and their children – Ember and Ember.

“A family is a social group characterized by common residence, economics co-operation and reproduction”- Mardock

“Family is a group based on material relation rights and duties and parenthood, common habitations and reciprocal relation between parents and children – Robert Lowie.

Family is cross- Cultural perspectives” – Stefens

Some common features of family:

1. A matting relationship (mating)

2. Form of marriage according to which the mating relation is established and maintained.
3. System of nomenclature and economic system or group having duties and oblige.

4. A common habitation of home or house hold.

Functions of family:

Divided in two types:

A. Essential functions:

 1)     Sexual
 2)     Reproduction and maintain of the children 
 3)     Placement
 4)     Socialization

B. Non-essential functions:

 1)     Economy
 2)     Education
 3)    Religious
 4)     Health and recreation
 5)     Care of aged
 6)     Civil Civit
 7)     Political control
 8)     Physical Protection
 9)     Social
 10)    Cultural.

Types of family:

Family is one kind of social micro unit. Most of the time when a person thinks of the definition of a family, the image of a mother, father and children is what comes into the mind. That is actually the definition of a nuclear family, which is parents, and one or more children. However, there are more definitions that can be used to define a family such as a single-parent family which is one parent and a child or children. Extended family is when a nuclear family or single-parent family lives with any extended family members.
A. Based on size and structure family are three types:

 1.     Nuclear Family
 2.     Joint Family
 3.     Extended Family

Nuclear Family: A nuclear family consists of a mother, father, and their biological or adoptive descendants, often called the traditional family. The nuclear family was most popular in the 1950’s and 60’s. The nuclear family can be a nurturing environment in which to raise children as long as there is love, time spent with children, emotional support, low stress, and a stable economic environment. In nuclear families, both adults are the biological or adoptive parents of their children.
Nuclear family - this family consists of:

    * Parents
    * Children

Joint Family: The social unit consisting of several generations of kindred living together under the same roof or in a joining compound. Traditionally, joint families live in a large single home, but in modern times accommodations are often in individual, nuclear homes within a shared compound. The joint family includes the father and mother, sons, grandsons and great-grandsons with their spouses, as well as the daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters until they are married - thus often comprising several married couples and their children.

The head of the joint family, called kutumba mukhya (also mukhya or kartri), is the father, supported by the mother, and in his absence, the elder son, guided by his mother and supported by his spouse. From an early age, the eldest son is given special training by his father to assume this future responsibility as head of the family. In the event of the father's death, sacred law does allow for the splitting of the family wealth between the sons.

Extended Family: An extended family is two or more adults from different generations of a family, who share a household. It consists of more than parents and children; it may be a family that includes parents, children, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, foster children etc. The extended family may live together for many reasons, help raise children, support for an ill relative, or help with financial problems. Sometimes children are raised by their grandparents when their biological parents have died or no longer can take care of them. Many grandparents take some primary responsibility for child care, particularly when both parents work. Extended families can be found all over the world in different communities and countries. The number of these families has increased by 40 percent in the past ten years.
Extended family - this family usually consists of:

    * Grandparents
    * Parents
    * Children

Family Structure:
B. Based on blood relation family is two types:

  1. Family of orientation. 
  2. Family of procreation.

C. Based on Marriage:

 Marriages are two types:
  1. Monogamy
  2. Polygamy

Monogamy – Monogamous family
Polygamy – Polygamous family

D. Based on rules of marriage:
  1. Endogamous
  2. Exogamous

E. Based in system of discount family are four types:

  1. Patrilineal family.
  2.  Matrilineal family
  3. Ambitineal family
  4. Bilateral family

F. Based on the nature of authority or succession:

  1. Patrical family.
  2. Matrical family

G. Based on residence practices:

  1. Patrilocal family / Birilocal family
  2. Matrilocal family / Uxorilocal
  3. Biolocal family
  4. Avunculocal family
  5. Neolocal family
  6. Matri-patrilocal family.

Patrilocal family: Patrilocal residence is structured by a rule that a man remains in his father's house after reaching maturity and brings his wife to live with his family after marriage. Daughters, conversely, move out of their natal household when they marry. Patrilocal extended families assume their functions in terms of joint ownership of productive domestic resources, usually under control of a household head, who also directs the labour of all household members. As household size increases in each generation, the the organization of working groups becomes unwieldy and domestic conflicts increase.

Matrilocal family:Matrilocal residence is instituted by a rule that a woman remains in her mother's household after reaching maturity and brings her husband to live with her family after marriage. Sons, conversely, move out of their natal household after marriage to join their wife's household. It can take on a number of forms, some, but not all of which occur within matrilineal societies. Non-standard cases include socieites with bride service, in which a man moves in with his wife's family but sets up his own household after his obligations are met.Matrilocal residence operates in matrilineal settings to bring the women of a matrilineage into the same household but disperses the group's men into many different locations. For this reason, alternative residential rules, such as  avunculocality or  natalocality, are often adopted.

Biolocal family:The residence rule which gives choice to the newly -weds to live with the parents of either the groom or the bride is known as biolocal.
Avunculocal family:Avunculocal residence is generated from a number of separate rules.

   1. Women usually take up residence with their husbands after marriage, and the couple's children reside with them until adulthood.
   2. Upon reaching maturity, sons are expected to move out of their parental home into their mothers' brothers' households.
   3. Daughters continue to follow a virilocal pattern, by moving to their husbands' households after marriage.
Neolocal family:The custom of a newly married couple setting up a new residence independent of the households of either partner's parents.
'Neolocal residence' is the residence pattern in which a married couple establishes a new residence independent of both their relatives.
' Neolocal residence' is now common in North America and other industrialized nations in which the importance of kinship is minimized.
Neolocal residence and nuclear family domestic structures are found in societies where geographical mobility is important. In Western societies, they are consistent with the frequent moves necessitated by choices and changes within a supply and demand regulated labour market. They are also prevalent in hunting and gathering economies, where nomadic movements are intrinsic to the subsistence strategy.

Functions of family:

  1. Satisfaction of biological needs
  2. Psychological satisfaction
  3. Economic co-operation
  4. Maintaining the morality
  5. Giving legitimacy to the children
  6. Full feel the emotional needs
  7. Social, Religious and cultural recognitions for sexual mati.