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The Institution Of Family Sociology Assignment


Family is the foundation of society. The progress and development of the society depends on sound family development.Family is the basic unit of social organization in all-human societies. Since prehistoric times, families have served as the primary institution responsible for raising children, providing people with food and shelter, and satisfying people‘s need for love and support.

The term family generally refers to a group of people related to one another by birth, marriage, or adoption, in contemporary society, people often apply the word family to any group that feels a sense of kinship (family connection).

Types of family

According to dominion a family is two types: –

1.         Father is the dominant of the family.

2.         Mother is the dominant of the family.

According to size two major varieties: –

1.         Nuclear family.

2.         Extended family.

 According to number of spouses two major types: –

1.         Monogamous.

2.         Polygamous:    a) Polygyny.

                                        b) Polyandry.

Function of the family

Family types very in different countries and among different cultures. In Western, industrialized societies, the nuclear family ranks as the most common family type. It consists of a father, a mother, and their children. But nuclear families exist alongside many other types of family units. In the single-parents family, for example a mother or a father heads the family alone. A blended family is formed when a divorced or widowed parent remarries. As divorce rates have risen, the number of single parents and blended families has increased.

Some cultures follow a traditional practice called polygamy, in which a person can have more then one spouse (husband or wife). The two chief forms of polygamy are polygyny and polyandry. In polygyny, a man marries more than one woman. In polyandry a woman has more than one husband.

Functions of the family

How a family can be happy and sound discuss with reference: –

Six major functions: –

  1. Child bearing.
  2. Providing food and shelter to family members.
  3. Meeting psychological needs: – love, support and companionship.
  4. Education and training.
  5. Socialization and
  6. Security and safety.

Families perform many necessary functions, both for individual family members and for society as a whole. In virtually all cultures, the family serves as the basic institution for bearing children, caring for them during their early years, and preparing them to function activity in society. Families around the world must also provide food and protein to their members. In addition, Families meet important psychological needs, such as the need for love support and companionship. Family also provides security and safety for its members particularly in early phase of life. It   provides sense of security for the members.

Family helps to socialize the member particularly children. The home is the center of family activities. These activities include raising children, eating meals, playing games, keeping house, and entertaining friends. In the home, children basic social skills, such as how to talk and get along with others. They also learn health and safety habits there.

Family’s home life is influence by which members live in the home and by the roles each member plays. Relatives who live outside the family’s home can also affect home life. Traditions, loss and social conditions help determine who lives in a home and the places each family member holds.

The factor affects the family: –

a)      Religion.

b)      Tradition and social condition.

c)      Legal system.

d)     Nature of occupation/ economic system.

e)    Role of society and state.

Changes in family role over time: –

The family’s duties have changed over time in the past families not only cared for the young but also grew their own food, made their own clothing, and provides services for themselves that modern families generally do not provide. Parents taught reading, writing, and craft skills to their children families also cared for sick and elderly relatives and often provided financial support for members in need. Since 1800’s, mainly in western society many of these traditional responsibilities have sniffed to such institutions as schools, hospitals, insurance companies and nursing home.

Roles within the family have also changed. Traditionally, the father was to take up an occupation to support his wife and children. The mother, in tern, ran the home and cared for the children. Today, however, both parents commonly work outside the home, and fathers often perform household duties formerly express of women.

Generally in western society one has little contact with relatives outside the nuclear family. But many Eastern families feel strong ties to such relatives and see them often. Aunts, uncles, and cousins traditionally play important roles in the live of these people.


There are different kinds of relationship among family members:

  1. Parent’s children relationship.
  2. Husband wife relationship.
  3.  Brother sister relationship.

There are some other kinds of relationship in extended family like.

  1. Uncle Aunt nephew nice relationship.
  2. Grand parents and grandchild etc.

Parents and children obligations to each other

Family depends primarily on Parent’s conduct to their children. Parents are the manager and guardian of the family. Future of children mostly depends on parent’s role. Parents/ Guardians must fulfill the rights of the children. It is their duty to ensure the rights of their children. Parents have great obligation toward their children. None can avoid these on any pretext.

Rights of children and parents obligation towards children: –

  1. 1.      Right to be born.
  2. 2.       Right to life.
  3. 3.      Right to legitimacy.
  4. 4.      Right to be cared.
  5. 5.      Right to have breast-feeding up two years..
  6. 6.      Right to have good and pleasant.
  7. 7.      Right to be loved.
  8. 8.      Right to education.
  9. 9.      Right to get justice and good & equal treatment.
  10. 10.  Right to food and shelter in the young age.
  11. 11.  Right to get marriage in due time.

Children’s conduct toward their parents: –

  1. Loyalty and respect
  2. Kindness, patience and good manners particularly in old age
  3. Honor the parents sentiments
  4. It is impolite for a child to call his parents by there first name
  5. Children are responsible for the support and maintenance of their parents. It is an absolute religious duty to provide for parents in case of need and to help to make their lives as comfortable as possible.
  6. A child should try to avoid anytime that might irritate his parents.
  7. If parents ask the child for something that is beyond his capacity it is his duty to apologize in a polite manner for not being able to fulfill their wish.
  8. A men’s relationship with his parents and his wife should not be at the expense of each other, nor should one be sacrificed for the other, both should be characterized by harmony and reconciliation.
  9. Obedience and loyalty towards parents are must but not opposing the obedience of Allah.
  10. Being patient, Grateful compassionate, respectful and affectionate towards parents is a necessary even it they are from other religions.
  11. Providing parents with sincere counsel if required
  12. It is a child’s duty to listen well to have parents when they speak to him. He should never interrupt his parents while there are speaking and never argue with them.
  13. When accompanying them outdoors a child should not walk in front of him/her while walking, and not to take a seat before he/her has.
  14. No child may become the cause of harm to his parents.
  15. Asking a father for extra money, for what he does not possess or for what he cannot give easily must be avoided.
  16. A child must not draw attention to his generosity or support toward his parents. It is strictly forbidden.
  17. To be humble to his parents and to be service to them in the house and outside is a great honor, whatever a child position is.
  18. It is a child duty to take care of his parents when they get old by having them live with him in his house but instead of this sending them to a home for the aged in considered not only discourteous but obnoxious.
  19.  If meeting with others with a smiling face in considered an act of kindness by someone, it is a necessity in the case of a child meeting his parents.
  20. A child should take the initiative and greet his parents when he meets them. He must not expect that his parents greet him first.
  21. A child is supposed to respect and treat his parents kindly even they disregard and treat him wrongfully.
  22. To revile parents is one of the most serious sins. A child should also avoid reviling some one else’s parents lest they should revile his.
  23. However much a child is in disagreement with one of his parents he should not say a cross word or make a gesture that would hard them.
  24. A forester mother is one of his relative so children most not neglect his duties toward her.
  25. It is the duty of children to help their parents with house holds work without having to be asked to do so.

Husband wife relationship and obligation

Husband wife relationship based on marriage. Through marriage a man and a woman become Husband wife respectively. Marriage is an oldest tradition of mankind. No society is found where there is no some from of marriage system. Islam denounces celibacy and encourages marriage.

Purpose of marriage

  1. To satisfy emotional and biological needs.
  2. It is a means of legitimate procreation/giving birth to children.
  3. For love mental peace and tranquility.
  4. For companionship and support.
  5. For building family and society.

The Holly Quran says: –

“He (Allah) created for you mates from among you selves that you may dwell in tranquility with them and he has put love and mercy between your hearts.”(30:21)

“And Allah has made for you mates of your own nature and made for you, out of them sons and daughters, and grand children-“(16.72)

Husband wife Relationship: –

Successful marriage and family depends on relationship between husband and wife. It is a mutual thing. Both have the rights as well as obligations. Sound relationship depends on following major factors:

a)      Love and respect.

b)      Adjustment with each other nature.

c)      Partnership approach.

d)      Sincere to mutual rights and obligations.

Husband’s obligations to his wife: –

  1. Good behavior: The best man is he who is best and kindest to his wife. Therefore acting kindly to one’s wife is a great obligation.
  2. Maintenance: Husband must maintain the family.
  3. Companionship and giving time to wife.
  4. Not to hate but love.
  5. Not to talk to others about private affairs of conjugal life.
  6. Not to abuse or revile, not to hurt mentally or physically.
  7. To honors and respect wife’s close relatives and friends and be hospitable to them.
  8. To ignore wife’s mistakes in most cases.
  9. A Muslim husband should guide his wife to lead an Islamic life.
  10. On returning home a husband should not center the house without first tell his family of his arrival by ringing the bell or knocking the door. If a husband comes from distant place he must inform his family of his arrival.
  11. Not to ignore wife’s sentiments, need and problems.
  12. Not to take wife’s income or property without her free consent.
  13. A Muslim husband must pay wife’s dowry or muhar according to marriage contract.
  14.  Not to give pressure one’s wife for earning because it is the duty of husband to maintain the family.
  15. It is good conduct to help the wife in household activities.
  16. In case a wife works outside husband should consider her business and tiredness and should not expect everything from her as is possible from a simple housewife. Rather both husband and wife should reach an understanding regarding the household duties and management. if wife shares family income husband should shares household duties as much as possible.

 Wife’s obligation: 

  1. Loyalty and respect to husband.
  2. To do best to keep her husband pleased to her.
  3. To look after the family and husbands property in absents of husband.
  4. She must not refuse when her husband calls her.
  5. Without the permission of husband a Muslim wife must not fast voluntary.
  6. Not to allow anyone that her husband does not want to enter the house without his permission.
  7. A wife may not give anything away of husband’s property without his permission.
  8. A wife should avoid asking husband extra money or for that which a does not process and cannot provided. Wife should show that gratitude what ever is given.
  9. A wife should discuses family problem with her husband at appropriate time.
  10. A wife should honor and respect husband close relatives and treat then with kindness.
  11. Too many arguments and disputes with a husband in fact lead to hatred and deterioration of the relationship.
  12. Wife must not others about privet matter between husband and wife.
  13.   Wife should show respect with sympathy to her husband parents and must not try to pursue her husband so that he becomes reluctant to or forget his duty towards the parents. it is an evil act to compel husband to leave his parents.

Children are important factor in a family. They have important role in the family. Relation among children is must important to make family happy and sound. There are different group among children.

  1. Elder brother or sister.
  2. Younger brother and sister.

Elder brothers and sisters have some duty and obligations towards younger. Elder should fulfill the right towards their junior. It is their duty to ensure the right to their brother and sister.

Elder brothers and sisters conduct towards younger brother and sister: –

  1. To love them.
  2. To take care and be conscious about them.
  3. In the absent of parents treat them as own child and give them the share that they deserved from the parents property.
  4. Be kind towards them.
  5. Look after the sisters after they have married.
  6. To teach them good moral training.
  7. To get justice and good equal treatment.
  8. Not to be cause any kind of harm of them.
  9.  To teach them social responsibility, to teach about social practices.
  10. Give them right to express their opinion.

 Younger  brothers and sisters conduct towards their seniors: –

  1. Loyalty and respect
  2. Honor their senior sentiment.
  3. It is a polite for the junior to call their senior by first name.
  4. Bring patients grateful respectful towards their seniors.
  5. Disobedient, neglect towards seniors and considered as sins.
  6. To tell in a polite way if elders made a mistake.
  7. Talk with them with politely and smiley face.
  8. Listen and obey their orders and commends.
  9. In their old age treat them as parents.

Uncle Ants and Nephew Nice obligations to each others:

Uncle ants conduct towards nephew nice.

  1. Treat nephew nice as own child.
  2. To take care about them.
  3. To give them the moral training and education.
  4. To love them.
  5. To give them food and shelter in the youngest is the absence of parents.

It is uncle and aunts duty to love and take care their nephew and nice. In the absence of parents uncle and aunts are their legal guardians. So that case they are their children.

Nephew and nice conduct towards their uncle and aunts: –

  1. To respect and obey them treat them and own parents.
  2. They should try to avoid all things, which is irritating for uncle and aunts.
  3. Obedient and loyalty towards uncle and aunts.
  4. To take acre in the old age if they haven’t any other option to survive.

Uncle and aunt should be same to parents was their parents’ brother and sister, to show love, respect, and obedience is same to show it towards parents and it will be tainted as seems if show neglect towards uncle and aunt by words and works.

Grant parents and grant child obligation to each other

            This kind of relation will only found in an extended family. Grant parents conduct towards their grand children.

  1. To love them.
  2. To teach them good moral training.
  3. To give them knowledge from their background life.
  4. To show them the right way of life according to their previous experience.
  5. To help them to build up with a sound mind.
  6. Not to became the cause of harm.

Grand children’s conducts towards grant parents: –

  1. Loyalty and respect.
  2. Kindness patience and good manners.
  3. Honor their sentiments.
  4. Being patient dreadful respectful affectionate.
  5. Providing grand parents with sincere council it required.
  6. It is grand children duty to listen them and not to show any irritating behaviors towards.
  7. Not to became the cause of harm.
  8.  To be care full about them.
  9. Since they are physically weak and mentally feeble.  So its Childs duty to be conscious about them.
  10. Children grand children’s must not neglect their duties towards grand parents.

How to make a family happy and sound

When we going to discus about how to make a family sound and happy then we have to look at those factors which is important to make a family happy and sound. We also have to look those key factors, which is the cause that makes a family unhappy. Happiness is not a thing, which can buy like a product. It’s comes through mental satisfaction.  To make a family sound and happy family members should be satisfied at a moderate living standard.

Factors important to make a family happy and sound

  1. Good relationship among family members.
  2. Fulfill the basic right (food, dress, shelter, education, medical treatment) of the family members.
  3. Make them concern about their duty and obligations towards family.
  4. Make them concern about their duty and obligations towards family members.
  5. By making the family members aware about their rights.
  6. By making family members more responsible about their duty towards himself, family members, society, nations and country.
  7. Make a complete plan of action, how to manage the family.
  8. By fulfilling the family members wants, needs and demands.
  9. Make ensure the complete allocation of wealth and other facilities among family members.
  10.  It is a most important duty of family chief to listen the problems of other family members.
  11.  Ensure the participation of other members in making major decision.
  12.  Family members should try to honor others members feelings.
  13.  To ensure that all family members are owing the obligations and duties of family ethics (which is given in the reference section).
  14.  Family members should try to realize others members problem.
  15.  Family members should try to build up good relationship among each other.
  16.  A family should try to avoid all those things, which are creating a gap in between their relation.
  17.  A family should try to arrange reunion or some kinds of meeting, which is important to rearrange the relation.

Factors make a family unhappy

  1. Lack of good understanding among family members.
  2. Unsatisfactory, which is very important factor in the question of family’s happiness.
  3.  Economic problem is a very important issue.
  4. A little misunderstanding may cause a great kind of problem.
  5. Not to show respect on others feelings cause of a trouble.
  6. Miss behavior creates a great amount of problem.
  7. Not to show respect on others opinion and sentiments is also a problem-creating factor.
  8. Impatience, unmerciful is also problem-creating factor.
  9. Lack of secrecy create problem in family life.

   10. Not to be attentive on other words create problem.

   11. Not to listen problems of others create problem.

   12. Un sacrificing tendency is not suitable for a happy family life.

   13. Not to be helpful and merciful is not a suitable tendency

    for a happy family life.


Happiness comes through satisfaction. It is a very important practice for family members to satisfy themselves within what they have. Otherwise a family cannot be completely happy and sound. It is a very important factor that a man or women’s family should must be sound and happy otherwise it will be impossible to expect a good impact from him or her. Family leads a very important role in a man’s or women personal life. So it is very important that a good and happy family can help to makes a man or woman successful. Family can lead a very important role to its member’s mentality. Any body shouldn’t expect a happy and soundman from an unhappy family. Happy and sound family is very much required for a complete human being non can achieve his or her goal without family support.

Sociology has always been interested in the impact which various social processes produce on social institutions. Religion, mass media, politics and economics – all these are the essential components of all social processes and are integrally linked to shape an atmosphere of social complexity, which sociology seeks to explain and resolve. Of all social institutions, however, it is family that is viewed as the basis and the major source of social relationships.

It is family that remains the critical social element of the so-called kinship, which “looms large in every known society, shaping people’s behavior” (Allan, 1999). It is also family that is designed for the purposes of reproduction, and which, if the need for changing family membership arises, incurs the highest transactional cost a social institution may cause. As result, family is fairly regarded as the basis for social stability and unity among all societal layers.

Surprisingly or not, but not all sociological theories view family as the nucleus of society, and this paper is designed to review the major controversies and similarities with regard to the functionalist, conflict, and interactionist views of family as a social institution. To begin with, the functionalist perspective in sociology views all social institutions through the prism of their functionality in societies, which they are expected to serve.

When it comes to family, functionalists assert that family is the source of the social stability and works to satisfy the basic societal needs (Giddens & Griffiths, 2006). To a large extent, functionalists have produced irreversible impacts on our understanding of family, and whenever we assert that family is the nucleus of society, it is functionalism that has become the source of its widely-spread belief. In this context, Talcott Parsons seems to have provided the most comprehensive and understandable review of the basic family functions.

From Talcott’s viewpoint, the two basic functions of family include personality stabilization and primary socialization (Giddens & Griffiths, 2006); as a result, functionalist theory breaks down the family structure into a set of functions which either families in general or their separate members are to fulfill. Functionalism seems the only sociological perspective that confirms positive social nature of family; for functionalists, family is the source of positive relationships, care, nurture, and unconditional love.

Unfortunately, functionalist theory does not always work in a way that would promote sociological objectivity and realism. Trying to confirm socially positive nature of family, many of us readily forget about the concepts of violence, aggressiveness, child abuse, and divorce (Giddens & Griffiths, 2006). Here, family ceases to be the source of social positivism and proves that functionalist beliefs about “positive families” are at least overestimated.

Fortunately, sociology possesses a wide range of analytical instruments and theories, which can be used and combined whenever researchers and scholars face another scientific inconsistency. When it comes to evaluating the positive nature of family as a social institution, the conflict theory works to disrupt this deceptive assumption and to provide a different theoretical view. In general, “conflict theory emphasizes the role of coercion and power, which is the ability of a person or group to exercise influence and control over others, in producing social order” (Andersen & Taylor, 2005).

Conflict theory has its roots in Marx’s vision of fragmented society, where different groups conflict with each other in the process of fighting for limited resources. In many instances, conflict theory in sociology is the antipode of the functionalist review of social institutions. Unlike functionalists who view inequality among family members as the beneficial source of social advantages, conflict theorists are confident that inequality is inherently destructive.

Moreover, family is the bright example of the way conflict theorists view the most important social institutions: while functionalists believe family to be the source of social stability, conflict theorists view family as the direct reflection of broader power relationships in society (Andersen & Taylor, 2005).

Gender roles in families are governed by the considerations of power; family roles tend to change under the impact of external economic and political forces; also, stability within families is influenced by other inequality institutions (e. . , poverty), and thus cannot be the source of social stability for the society in general. It appears, however, that functionalists tend to neglect the role which shared values and consensus may play for the distribution of social roles within families (Andersen & Taylor, 2005), but it is interactionism that works to establish a new vision of family as of a collective social institution and a unity of members that constantly interact with each other.

Interactionism is one of the three major sociological theories that are successfully used to look deeper into the essence of relationships within social institutions and the impacts which subjective individual beliefs, perceptions, and values, and behaviors produce on the structure and stability of social institutions and society in general. “Because of its emphasis on face-to-face contact, interaction theory is a form of microsociology, whereas functionalism and conflict theory are more macrosociological” (Allan, 1999).

From the viewpoint of interaction, the way people tend to interpret their values and behaviors of others are the sources of the major social bonds. The latter can either be the source of family stability or the instrument of family destruction. Given the complexity of interrelationships and interactions within families, Allan (1999) provides an interesting example of a poor African American couple with diagnosed sickle cell anemia, who decide in favor of having children, being fully aware of health risks their children are likely to encounter.

It appears that poor African American populations display the growing mistrust toward the system of healthcare and thus consider medical warnings as unreliable and doubtful. Their family relationships and behaviors are shaped by these individualistic attitudes, which are the direct objects of interactionism studies. Certainly, each of the three theories inevitably impacts the views family members hold with regard to their roles within this particular social institution. From the functionalist perspective, all members of family will seek to distribute their roles in a way that corresponds to society’s industrial needs.

In other words, functionalists would tend to pursue the division of roles in a family according to the most conventional principles (Giddens & Griffiths, 2006). Thus, in a functionalist family a man would be expected to work, while a woman would have to be a housewife and to care for family and children. In this context, the members of a functionalist family would view the two working parents or an unemployed man as inappropriate. Unfortunately, in the current economic conditions, where women are more likely to seek decent employment, the functionalist view of family may stand out as outdated and rather distorted.

For functionalist family members, it is the family that should be the source of care for all family members and children, but society also possesses a whole set of instruments, which can provide high quality care for children and other family members (e. g. schools and kindergartens). However, functionalist views are usually associated with the persistent negligence toward these institutions (Giddens & Griffiths, 2006). That is just one out of many reasons for which functionalists are usually being criticized.

Under the impact of conflict theory, family members will distribute their roles in ways that correspond to the distribution of social roles in broader societal contexts. From the viewpoint of conflict theory, and given the current power structures in society, male members of the family are more likely to use and exercise more power against the rest of family members. This power is linked to and is associated with the family member’s gender and has its roots in the widely-spread commitment to male promotion and female discrimination in various social and professional contexts.

Nevertheless, the distribution of roles in families will vary depending on the norms and standards to which society in general adheres; thus, where society values age and holds age as the primary criterion for the distribution of power, older family members will be trusted more authority and decision-making power within the family (Andersen & Taylor, 2005). Simultaneously, these are resources and possessions that will determine the scope of power each family member is allowed to use.

Thus, a family member will view himself (herself) as more powerful in case he (she) earns more or possesses more information than the rest of family members. In conflict families, members view themselves as possessing the right for abuse and coercion; violence and aggressiveness are characteristic of conflict family members. There is always a difference between one’s perceived and prescribed roles, which are also the sources of conflicts. Family members are not always able to find a common agreement with regard to their roles and the amount of power they are delegated in all decision-making processes.

As a result, a member of such family will view himself (herself) as a part of continuous fight for or against the principles of power distribution which society tends to promote (Andersen & Taylor, 2005). In distinction from conflict and functionalist theories, sociological interactionism seems to promote the most humanistic and the most socially appropriate view about family. Interactionism implies “the moral ideal that all members of a family should adopt an identical view of their collective situation” (Allan, 1999), and here family comes out as the complex combination of interactions and interacting personalities.

In this network of interactions and interacting personalities, the concept of the family evolves as a unity of responsibilities and roles, and each family member views his family from a different interactionist perspective. In distinction from conflict theory or functionalism, not broader societal contexts and environments, but relationships within the family assign family members with different roles and responsibilities. Moreover, family members view their family and their own roles as the product of these interactions which may also evolve and change (Allan, 1999).

Each family member derives his (her) understanding of identity from the interactions that take place in the family, and these identity understandings are assimilated and adjusted to form a stable family union. In terms of interactionism, family members will also be more likely to break their previous roles and to change them in accordance with the changes their identities undergo in the process of interacting with others. Given the differences between the three theories, it is easy to see that functionalist and conflict theories are the most responsive to social change.

It should be noted that the concept of social change is rather controversial in itself; sociologists find it difficult to define social change in a simple and comprehensive way. Nevertheless, for functionalists and conflict theorists social change is the essential component of social interaction and growth. Functionalists are extremely responsive to the changes which society undergoes with regard to the distribution of social roles; in other words, where women become more committed to family values, families readily react by expanding the scope of female household roles and care responsibilities.

Simultaneously, these are the functionalists that will tend to change their attitudes toward working mothers as society becomes more female-oriented and open to female employment (Andersen & Taylor, 2005). Unfortunately, the division of labor the principles of which functionalists pursue is far from being unproblematic, and not all family members take this division for granted. Many of them may view their roles as too limited to promote their social growth and development.

That is why there is a never ending conflict between family roles that are expected to serve society’s industrial needs and family roles which family members may view as the most appropriate to them. Conflict theorists are extremely vulnerable to the changes which society undergoes in terms of power distribution. Gender, age, and social shifts inevitably impact family member attitudes toward the roles they are being assigned by power and conflict. Social inequality forms the basis for power distribution among family members.

For example, under the pressure of poverty women will tend to seek decent employment; as a result, their financial independence will grant them more power in family relationships and thus, more power in all family decision-making processes. “From a conflict perspective, all families are situated within larger systems of power and inequality – systems that affect family life” (Andersen & Taylor, 2005); that is why not shared values or common interests, but social inequality and the conflict between social classes and family members will also promote smaller role changes within families.

When it comes to interactionism, however, it appears that not society but individuals are the sources of the social change, and family members are given sufficient power to maintain family stability based on interactions and contacts. To some extent, interactionists base their relationships on the meanings that are constructed in broader social contexts (for example, gender meanings), but these meanings are also subject to changes which occur as a result of closer interactions between specific social groups (Allan, 1999).

Does that mean that functionalists, conflict theorists, and interactionists view society from different family angles? Yes, it does, and while functionalists view society as the complex of social relationships designed to satisfy its industrial needs, conflict theorists see society as the complex network of social inequalities, which are also the most important drivers of social change. In distinction from functionalists and conflict theorists, interactionists view society as the source of social meanings to which they will also adhere in their family relations.

These meanings may also produce stereotypical impacts on family members’ behaviors. For example, as the meaning of marriage in society becomes more important, women will rely on marriage as the source of respectability, which will consequentially provide men with better opportunities to exercise control over women (Allan, 1999). From all three perspectives, family stands out as the complex structure comprising roles, responsibilities, stereotypes, and conflicts.

Family may either serve the basis for the societal stability or may look as the complex of individual relationships and meanings, but under the impact of broader societal impacts all families and family members undergo a strategic meaningful shift, which changes their views on family, society, and relationships between individuals. Conclusion It appears that family is not always the nucleus of society and the source of social stability. Sociological theories work to provide different (at times opposing) views on similar sociological institutions.

This variety of theoretical perspectives is expected to resolve the major social complexities which society members encounter on their way to stability and unity. In terms of family, functionalism, conflict theory, and interactionism provide the three completely different approaches to family relationships and review society and social change from the three completely different angles. These angles, nevertheless, form a general picture of the roles and characteristics families tend to display in the process of their interaction with broader social contexts.

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