Essay on Evaluating The Institution Of The Family

1142 Words Nov 13th, 2015 null Page
Evaluating the Institution of the Family The family is the starting point for all human development, one that persists in its influence throughout an individual’s life. It is from the family that we first learn of abstract ideas such as love and pride, and it is also from family that we have our first experiences with power systems, sorted by gender, age, and other factors. Family has both positive effects, such as love, emotional support, and first social experiences, and negative effects, such enforcing strict gender roles and power structures. Family is defined by Shaw and Lee (citation) as a kinship system that determines distribution of power, distribution of labor, and which people have sexual access to one another. Shaw and Lee also mention children and rituals/contract of official ties (marriage, for example) as important parts of the family to a majority of the world. This comes across as a highly Westernized and idealized version of family. It raises the question of if families are legitimate without either children or official ties. When discussing family, it is crucial to recognize that the term has different connotations in different parts of the world. Some cultures have extended families living together under one roof, whereas in the US, this is not the norm. Even in the US, definitions of family are changing as single parent families increase in frequency, as same-sex families become more visible, and as divorce rates rise, complicating the term. Perhaps…

Related Documents