The sociology of the family examines the family as an institution and a unit of socialization.
Sociological studies of the family look at demographic characteristic of the family members: family size, age, ethnicity and gender of its members, social class of the family, the economic level and mobility of the family, professions of its members, and the education levels of the family members.
Often, each member is restricted by the gender roles of the traditional family.
There are various other family forms that are becoming increasingly common.
A singlehood family contains a person who is not married or in a common law relationship.
Family types that are replacing the traditional nuclearfamily include single parent families, cohabitation, and gay and lesbian families.
One main thread in discussions about gender roles in the United States has been the historical evolution from a single-income family, or a family unit in which one spouse (typically the father) is responsible for the family income, to a dual-income family, or a family unit in which both spouses generate income.
NuclearFamily Models In 1955, sociologist Talcott Parsons developed a model of nuclear families in the United States that addressed gender roles.
Family structures vary across cultures and history, and the term nuclearfamily refers to a family unit of two parents and their children.
Parsons developed two models of gender roles within the nuclearfamily.
The national trend toward a total integration of gender roles is reflected in women’s education, professional achievement, and family income contributions.
System of Kinship One of the founders of anthropological relationship research was Lewis Henry Morgan, who wrote Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family (1871).
Fatherhood was therefore recognized as a social role; the woman's husband is the "man whose role and duty it is to take the child in his arms and to help her in nursing and bringing it up"; "Thus, though the natives are ignorant of any physiological need for a male in the constitution of the family, they regard him as indispensable socially.” Descent and the Family Descent, like family systems, is one of the major concepts of anthropology.
The Western model of a nuclearfamily consists of a couple and its children.
The nuclearfamily is ego-centered and impermanent, while descent groups are permanent and reckoned according to a single ancestor .
Occasionally, there emerge new concepts of family that break with traditional conceptions of family, or those that are transplanted via migration, but these beliefs do not always persist in new cultural space.
As a unit of socialization, the family is the object of analysis for certain scholars.
In sociological literature, the most common form of this family is often referred to as a nuclearfamily.
Common in the western societies, the model of the family triangle, where the husband, wife, and children are isolated from the outside, is also called the oedipal model of the family.
This family arrangement is considered patriarchal.
In human context, a family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence.
Family structures of some kind are found in every society.
Pairing off into formal or informal marital relationships originated in hunter-gatherer groups to forge networks of cooperation beyond the immediate family.
While somewhat more common prior to the twentieth century due to the more frequent deaths of spouses, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the nuclearfamily became the societal norm in most Western nations.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the change in the economic structure of the United States–-the inability to support a nuclearfamily on a single wage–-had significant ramifications on family life.
Postulate six: Man's central role is work, and woman's is marriage and family.
Each level of society grants individuals permission to disengage because of the following: requirements of the rational-legal occupational system in an affluent society; the nature of the nuclearfamily; and the differential death rate.
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