- Free Essays, Term Papers, Research Papers and Book Reports

Nuclear Family and Extended Family

By:   •  April 22, 2018  •  Research Paper  •  1,631 Words (7 Pages)  •  170 Views

Page 1 of 7


Overall you did a pretty good job here, a few issues with proofreading and APA formatting, but otherwise the writing is fine. My big criticisms are A) you needed two more references to meet the minimum of 5 and B) your paper was quite late, which cost you a lot of points (5 days x 10 points = 50 points off). Be sure to turn your work in on time!


Laura Clayton

Anderson University

December 8, 2015



In sociology, the family is considered to be a social unit and it is defined as the basic and

specific group of people in a social unit that is comprised of children, partners, parents,

grandparents, uncles, aunties, and cousins. Family can be categorized into two major types, that

is, nuclear family and extended family. A nuclear family consists of father, mother and children

while the extended family consists of the nuclear family, grandparents, aunties, uncles, and

cousins. Therefore, a family is a group of members or people who are related either by blood or

by marriage thus sharing a common ancestor (Coontz, 2005). A father heads the members of the

family whether living under the same roof or not. In the modern times, there is a type of family

known as single-parent that comprises a parent and children that may be as a result of divorce,

death, among other reasons.

Functions of Family

Family, the basic social unit, is primarily meant for society continuation through

procreation, which is biological and through socialization, which is the social aspect of the

society growth. These functions of the family render the members of the family to have diverse

roles, which change as time goes by. The family also plays an imperative responsibility in

shaping the children by orienting them socially, which is a major role that the family should play.

As mentioned earlier, the major role of a family is to bring fourth children and socialize them in

the precise compartment according to the norms and customs of the society. In some societies,

women are obliged to bear or produce children. For instance, a certain community in Ghana,

meeting the requirement of dowry payment, signifies that the woman is supposed to produce

children, therefore; no woman is allowed to control production or family plan.

Apart from procreation, through marriage, there is an establishment of legal parents who

include the father and the mother to the child. As a result of this, the head of the family, the

husband, have the full control over the sexual services, property, and labor of the wife. Similarly,

the wife has the full control of the sexual services, property, and labor of the husband in the

marriage (Coontz, 2005). Through marriage, the husband and the wife, establishes funds and

property for the children, and this can lead to a strong relationship between the in-laws; the

wife’s and the husband’s families. These functions are not universal; it depends on the type of the

society whereby the marriage is taking place. In some cultures with the division of labor

according to sex, marriage, and the relationship between wife and the husband, forming a well

established and stable economic productive family household is necessary. Although in the

current modern societies, marriage has taken a new direction with new privileges and rights,

which allow the formation of families without much attention of producing children.

The family is obliged to provide education to its members. The family is an institution

that provides primary and basic education to its members, and some of the education taught to

the members includes letters, skill, knowledge, and trade. Through this basic education, the

members are molded to their character and career. The mother in the family is the best and first

teacher in the child’s life. The child is taught all the informal aspects of education such as

obedience, discipline, manners, among others from the family, especially by the mother. At the

present modern times, the school, universities, and colleges take over in providing education to

the members of the family but the family continues in providing the primary and first education

to the family members (Daly, & Lewis, 2000, pp. 287-293).

Religious functions are part of the family’s roles as the family is a religious center where

all the religious activities are performed. The family members pray together, perform religious

rituals, rites, and practices as a common group. All family members should belong to the same

religion, and most of the families carry out some religious practices and ceremonies jointly at

their home. Children in the family imitate and learn the religious values from the parents and

children develop spirituality provided that the family atmosphere is spiritual. The religious

practices and beliefs are also transmitted throughout the generations. Nonetheless, in the modern

society, families have the adopted the secular way of worship. Therefore, religion is never taken

seriously as most families rarely or have family religious worship. Still majority of the families

play the role of shaping and instilling religious values and attitudes to the children and other

family members (Panasenko, 2013, pp. 81-86).

The family as a social and religious group provides health functions to the members. The

family is obliged to ensure that all its members are healthy and vigorous. This also entails taking

care of family members who are old, aged and sick. In addition, the members of the family

should be provided with nutritive and healthy food as well as meeting health expenses of the

unhealthy ones. The current trend related to health is that most families entrust most of the health

issues and problems to the private and public hospitals, for example, when a child is born the

nurses and doctors in the clinics or hospitals take care of the baby for a given time.

It is the contractual obligation of the family to provide recreational functions to its

members. Recreational provides entertainment to people in an assortment of approaches or ways.

Traditionally or in the ancient time, a family was the recreational ground or center because feasts

and picnics were organized there. Festivals are also organized in the family and grandparents act

as an entertainment to the grandchildren. The modern clubs, however, have taken over

entertainment as most families attend recreational functions in the clubs (Daly, & Lewis, 2000, p.


The family is also responsible for cultural and social functions. Culture is taught and

transmitted to the next generation, therefore; family is the center and core of culture. On the


Download:  txt (10.3 Kb)   pdf (82 Kb)   docx (14.1 Kb)  
Continue for 6 more pages »