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Family - most important universal institution. It is the core of the social structure and fundamental unit of the society. In general its consists of father, mother & children.

According to Charles Cooley - Family is the primary group and we are member of primary group. History of mankind is the history of family. At birth child is only biological being. His needs are fulfilled by his family. Right from the birth to death, the family exerts a constant influence on the child.

According to Anderson - There is not a single person who is not a member of a family in one form or the other. According to him there are two types of family (i) family of orientation (ii) family of procreation.

  1. Where we are born, we are a member.
  2. In the family urge is fulfilled to give birth to another. Family in which we procreate we give birth.

The origin & Division of Family

Morgan - He has listed to successive forms of family. He has postulated a sequential growth of the division and origin of family. He has divided on the basis of distinctive type of marriage.
  1. Consanguine - How this family originated and developed. This type of marriage was not well organized because at that time institutions of marriage were not well developed. It was based on system of promiscuity or sex communism. Men were free to have sex-relationship with any woman.
  2. Punabran family - It succeeds the consanguine. In this type of marriage, group of boys married a group of girl. In one way it is a type of pair marriage. In this type of family it was not well organized. Any girl could have sex relationship with any boy of the same group. This existed for a long time.
  3. Syndiasmian Family – It succeeds 2. Here one female married one male in a family but the man was allowed to have sex–relationship with anyone he wants. Woman also had permission to have sex-relationship with others outside the family.
  4. Patriarchal Family - Male dominated family. Authority gives to male especially the eldest male of the family. Dominated by the eldest male. Here male can have more than one wife but female can have only one husband and they unlike men can't have sex-relationship with other men.
  5. Meonogamous – (Modern family) one male can marry only one female. According to Vnkevouic there are 2 types of marriages. The males were allowed to marry again if his first wife died. According to Vnkevouic Monoganous family is that family in which males are allowed to marry only once even if his wife died he cannot marry again. 9.2.88 Prefour in Book Mother the first form of family was matriarchal family. In this the full responsibility of a family was on mother. Later on every required the help of males as they could not fulfill their families desires alone and hence slowly the males group began to dominate the women group by giving their support and help. They began to think themselves as superior in a family.
  6. Westermark – In his book "History of Marriage" said that first form of family was patria cal because only sex was considered more important. Males group felt jealousy that their wife cannot have sex with other males. They must be satisfied with one male. Thus in this way they were dominated very much in the family.
  7. Tylor was the supporter. Before there was only sex and hence a family was not well organized at all. But males were allowed to have sex with other female group even though the bad wives already.

Needs for Origin: It originated to fulfill the needs of oneself. The various needs can only be fulfilled in a family. Everyone is a member of a family in one way or the other. To exist a family or a society reproductive usage or sexual relationship is very necessary. There are some needs to form a family they are (1) Reproductive urge: that is to have sexual relationship to have a family of our own. Unless there is sexual relationship, family cannot exist. To have children and for this sex is necessary. This is a psychological aspect. People want to continue their family tradition, name etc. (2) Biological needs – sexual urge varies according to age. If one wants to have sex he cannot have anywhere or at any time he wants so to have sex or to satisfy sexual urge marriage is very necessary. (3) Economic provision - when a child is born he is fully dependent on a family (specially for a biological needs like hunger etc.) economically.

Definition of Family
Mac Iver & Page – In their book 'The society' – family is a group defined by sex relationship, sufficiently precise and enduring to provide for the procreation and upbringing of the children.

Dgbourn & Nimkoff – In their book 'A hand book of sociology' – "Family is more or less a durable association of husband and wife with or without children or of a man or woman along with their children".

Kingsley Davis – In his book "Human society" – defines family as – "Family is a group of persons whose relation to one another are based upon consequinity and who are therefore kin to one another". He means where there is blood relationship although hubby and wife have sex relation.

Gisbert – "Family of ordinarily a man and woman permanently united with one or more children.

Biesenz & Biesenz – "The family in one sense may be defined as a woman with a child and a man to look after them.

Burguess & Locke – In his book 'Family' – "Family is a group of persons united by ties of marriage, blood or adoption, constituting a single household, interacting and intercommunicating with each other in their respective social roles of husband & wife, mother and father, son & daughter, brother & sister creating a common culture".

Characteristics of Family – (General)

  1. Sex relationship should be their between husband and wife. Or making relationship or if this relationship breaks then the family slowly breaks according to Mac Iver.
  2. It provides care to children like economic needs. Emotional basis i.e. family is based on emotion. If this is absent the family breaks.
  3. A system of Nomenclature i.e. according to Anderson there are two kinds of family and both these give importance to Nomenclature. This means that the children relates to the families name.
  4. A single household for a well organized family.
  5. Durable association of hubby and wife according to Anderson & Nimkoff.
  6. Husband and wife with or without children.

Nature of Family (distinctive characteristics)

  1. Universality – family is found in each stage of society and everywhere. There is no society without family. There is not a single man who does not belong to one or other kind of family". Anderson.
  2. Emotional basis – There should be an emotional relationship – love, affection, sympathy, co-operation. If there is no such basis the family breaks up.
  3. Formative influence – Each family has a certain form. Orientation and Procreations (Mac Iver). If you are a member of one family you inherit your parents characteristic. Frand said "In adulthood man has the characteristic of parents". In pro you give birth to children and they are influenced by your personality.
  4. Limited in size – Gisbert "Husband, wife and children". Family is limited in size in comparison to other groups. Joint family is large whereas nuclear family is small.
  5. Nuclear position in the society – According to Charles Cooley "Family is a primary group and is the fundamental unit of society (the network of social relationship we call it society)". It is the primary cell of society. Society is an aggregation of families.
  6. Sense of Responsibility – The function of the family is to provider economic needs of the children. It is the responsibility of the parents to look after the children of the family. At the time of crisis man is ready to die for country but for his family he is always ready to protect the family's prestige etc.
  7. Social control – family is a mechanism of social control. When one is small he does not know what's wrong or right. If you follow good you are praised otherwise you are punished. This makes you think that you must relate to the good and when you grow up you relate to the good of society.
  8. Permanent and Temporary in nature – Family is an institution as well as association. As an institution family is permanent cause it's found everywhere and at every stage of history. As association family is or close kint group (when the child has his own family he separates from the original & so temporary) one family consists of father, mother and children. Generally the children make their own family and the family disintegrate. This happens in case of divorce or death of a parent.

  1. Types of Family
  2. Function of Family
  3. Modern Family