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Family is a distinct word that brings out many diverse meanings. What is a family? Well, people tried to define a family in many ways. It is an interesting question because the unit of analysis is not always visible. Families can vary in terms of social, cultural, economic, and many other aspects. But in short, we can say that every family has a common interest to pursue.
Sociological view regarding family
The specific definition of family, according to the dictionary, is the basic unit of society comprising of two parents raising their children or a group of people living under one canopy and one head. It can be the group of people unified by specific joint affiliation or a group of related plants or animals forming a category.
According to sociology, the word "family" is the derivative form of the Latin word "familia.â€ When a group of people is connected either by birth or affinity, we can call them a family. The objective of a family is to retain the well-being of its members, along with society. â€œAnthropologists tend to categorize the family organizations as matrifocal (a mother with her children), patrifocal (a father with his children), conjugal (a wife with husband and children), and avuncular or extended or mixed family.â€Â Â Elements of an immediate family might include spouses, children, parents, brothers, sisters, and grandparents. The extended family may comprise of aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins, and in-laws.
The modern context :
The conventional standard family consists of a mother, a father, and children. Yet, the 21st century indicates different variations in the family structures, much different from the conventional outlook. Children are frequently reared by a single parent, grandparents, or even by homosexual parents. Some families decide to have no children or unable to have children due to some medical or personal complications. Along with the widely accepted family definition, some individuals consider a group of friends, or pets, or colleagues as formulating factors of a family.
Rather than merely characterizing a family by a conventional definition, we must try to define a family with our perspective enriching the necessary explanation as well. We can have numerous families in our lifetime. Your description should be one that works for you as the proverb denotes, "Family is what you make it." Whether built of blood relations, companions, co-workers, pets, or a mixture of these, your family must give you the support you always need to prosper.
To some people, family symbolizes the foundation of values, the harmony of acceptances, unconditional surrenders, joy, assistance, and love that amplifies the journey of life. To some, the family reaches beyond genealogies or obligations. The word 'family' encompasses all the people in their lives who dedicate love and support to them unconditionally. It is not a modest birthright but a selection, a domain of compassion that enables them to grow both as individuals and as social persons.
When friends are family:
Some people sincerely evaluate their friends as their family. Friends are the findings of a person's unique and emotional preferences. A person can feel more affiliated, more comfortable, and safer with ith a friend than someone with whom he has blood relation or has known for years.
When friends tend to become family, the proximity enhances. .When friends evolve as family, you have a more reliable support system. They extend their hands without any compulsion. So whenever the question arises, what is family, the friends may be of grave importance.
Â When pets are family:
Sometimes, pets are inevitable members of a family. Pets develop a sense of responsibility for a family, particularly for children. For some couples, devoid of children, pets can be substitutes for children and taken care of as adorably as children. Some people consider pets as other family members and mourn when they pass away.
When co-workers are family:
According to a new HP workplace survey, the majority of employees assert that they tend to spend more time with their "work family" than they usually spend with their actual family. So it is not surprising that the workplace gives birth to a new family. Scientists encourage this kind of relationship as the researches confirm that having a job spouse can magically broaden your work life. These relationships consist of significant levels of acknowledgment, assistance, mutual understanding, integrity, loyalty, and honor.
When neighbors are family :
Sometimes, the neighbors can be your extended family as they help you in case of emergency, genuinely care about your kids, make you feel special, and takes care of your well being.
Â Virtual family:
The extreme new type of family is the virtual family. The development of social and virtual domain diversifies the needs of a modern man and consequently transforms the significance of the family explaining newer functions. The virtual family is the one that exists in virtual reality, especially in social networks, information software, and computer games. Family is who cares for you and always expects your growth and happiness. Help, appreciation, vigor, honesty, and alliance should be the components of a family. Acknowledging each other's importance, we can attain mutual loyalty and consent.
The family should have the openness and enthusiasm to accept you that you exactly are. When things tend to go wrong, and problem confronts you, you must always depend on your family. Family backs you to make the right decisions.
To sum up, we can quote from Carl Totton, Psy.D., Professor of Psychology, Phillips Graduate University."Building healthy families is a self-preservation strategy for any rational and sane society. An enlightened society is one that supports all of its members in reaching their full potential as human beings. I believe we can become real architects of our destinies rather than mere captives of our fate, of our past. This liberating model allows for true freedom as each segment of society takes responsibility for itself and our extended human family. " I hope the discussion fulfills your query regarding the quest for what is family.
Consultant Psychologist, Mental Health Professional
Location: Hisar, India
Language: English, Hindi, Punjabi
Area Of Expertise: Child Counseling, Couple Counseling, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, Self Improvement, Sleep, IQ Testing, ADHD, Career Counselling, Adolescent Counselling, Motivation, Family Counseling
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