Family As A Social Institution Essay

777 Words Nov 23rd, 2015 4 Pages
Family, a social institution, is traditionally defined in the Western world as a husband, wife and children. However, over time these ideals have changed. The definition of family is no longer restricted to the same preconceived ideas; pets have been considered an addition to a family, and in our generation, same-sex marriage has become more prevalent than it has ever been. Additionally, more married couples are getting divorces and there are more single-parents than there are traditional families. Functionalism, created by Emile Durkheim, is defined as interrelated parts of society working as a whole to maintain stability. Family is one of of the parts that is stressed as a necessity for society must meet its basic needs in order to survive. Functionalists believes that family plays a vital role in fulfilling the six basic requirements: economic production, socialization , care of the sick and aged, recreation, sexual control, and reproduction. Every human group has adopted a form of family to ensure that these functions are performed. In addition, the taboo of incest encourages families to deter from role confusion. For example, if incest were allowed, how would a wife treat her daughter — as a second wife or a daughter? Incest also promotes exogamy, the act of marrying individuals outside the family; in the past, exogamy allowed for tribes and kingdoms to create alliance based on marriage. A dysfunction that comes with a nuclear family, however, is emotional overload.…

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