family sociology upsc

What is Family in Sociology?

Topic “Family” is one of the most important topics of Sociology in UPSC and States PSC Exams. We have compiled the basics of the topic in brief.

Word “Family” comes from the Latin word “Famulas” which means a servant.

Family Definition in Sociology

M. F. Nimkoff- Family is a more or less durable association of husband and wife with or without a child; or of a man and woman alone, with children.

MacIver- Family is a group defined by sex relationship sufficiently precise and enduring to provide for the procreation and upbringing of children.

General characteristics of family in sociology

  1. A mating relationship
  2. selection of mates
  3. A form of marriage
  4. A system of nomenclature
  5. A way of tracking the descent
  6. A common residence
  7. Economic Provisions

Distinctive Features of Family

  1. Universality (Murdock)
  2. Emotional Basis
  3. Limited Size
  4. Formative Influence- (Nursery of Human Nature) and ‘ Breeding Ground of our mores’ and Nurse of our loyalties
  5. Responsibility of members
  6. Social Regulation- Guarded by social taboos and legal regulations
  7. Permanent and Temporary Nature of Family

Functions of Family

According to MAcIver, there are two types of functions a family performs-

  1. Primary (Essential) Functions- Basis of the continued existence of family
  2. Secondary (Non-essential) Functions- Basis of maintenance of family

Primary (Essential) Functions

  1. Stable satisfaction of sexual needs
  2. Reproduction/ Procreation
  3. Production and Rearing of Children
  4. Provision of Home
  5. Culture transmission and agent of socialization
  6. Status Ascription and Social Identification of Individualsc(Ethninc, Nationality, Religious, Residential, Class, Educational, Economic and sometimes political)
  7. Affectional Functions

Secondary (Non-essential) Functions

  1. Economic
  2. Educational
  3. Religious
  4. Recreational

Read Important Topics for General Studies

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