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What is a Family?

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The family may be defined as a basic fundamental, and the smallest social grouping, the members of which are united by bonds of kinship.

In its simplest form, the primary or elementary family, it consists of two matured adults of opposite sex who live together in a union (marriage) recognized by the society, along with their children. The kinship ties which unite the individuals of family are basically three that exists between the married pair (husband-wife relationship) that exists between the married pair and their children (Parent-children relationship), and that exists between the children of the married pair (sibling relationship).

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The family as a social unit is universal; there is not a single society in this universe where family and marriage are absent. The members of a family accept the co-operative division of labor, and they share a common shelter, a common purse, and a common hearth.

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The conjugal family discharges the following four basic functions, such as

  • The institutionalization of mating with its attendant’s controls over the sexual outlet,
  • Co-operative division of labor between male and female,
  • Nurture of the young in an atmosphere of intimacy, and
  • Basic enculturation of the on-coming generation.
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