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In
human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same Politics, political authority a ...
, family (from la, familia) is a
group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with ...
of people related either by
consanguinity Consanguinity ("blood relation", from Latin '':wikt: consanguinitas, consanguinitas'') is the characteristic of having a kinship with another person (being descended from a common ancestor). Many jurisdictions have laws prohibiting people who ar ...

consanguinity
(by recognized birth) or
affinity Affinity may refer to: Commerce, finance and law * Affinity (law) In law and in cultural anthropology Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens' ...
(by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of society. Ideally, families would offer predictability, structure, and safety as members mature and participate in the community. In most societies, it is within families that children acquire
socialization In sociology, socialization is the process of Internalisation (sociology), internalizing the Norm (social), norms and Ideology, ideologies of society. Socialization encompasses both learning and teaching and is thus "the means by which social an ...
for life outside the family, and acts as the primary source of attachment, nurturing, and socialization for humans. Additionally, as the basic unit for meeting the basic needs of its members, it provides a sense of boundaries for performing tasks in a safe environment, ideally builds a person into a functional adult, transmits culture, and ensures continuity of humankind with precedents of knowledge.
AnthropologistAn anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and present Society, societies. Social anthropology, cultural anthropology and philosophical anthropology study the norm ...

Anthropologist
s generally classify most family organizations as matrifocal (a mother and her children); patrifocal (a father and his children); conjugal (a wife, her husband, and children, also called the
nuclear family A nuclear family, elementary family or conjugal family is a family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the ...
);
avuncular The avunculate, sometimes called avunculism or avuncularism, is any social institution where a special relationship exists between an uncle and his sisters' children. This relationship can be formal or informal, depending on the society. Early an ...
(for example, a grandparent, a brother, his sister, and her children); or
extended
extended
(parents and children co-reside with other members of one parent's family). Members of the
immediate family The immediate family is a defined group of relations, used in rules or laws to determine which members of a person's family are affected by those rules. It normally includes a person's parents, siblings, spouses, children Biologically, a ...
may include spouses, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters. Members of the extended family may include aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, and
siblings-in-law A sibling-in-law is the spouse of your sibling, or the sibling of your spouse, or the person who is married to the sibling of your spouse.Cambridge Dictionaries Online.Family: non-blood relations. More commonly a sibling-in-law is referred to a ...
. Sometimes these are also considered members of the immediate family, depending on an individual's specific relationship with them, and the legal definition of "immediate family" varies. Sexual relations with family members are regulated by rules concerning
incest Incest ( ) is between family members or close . This typically includes sexual activity between people in (blood relations), and sometimes those related by ( or ), adoption, or . The is one of the most widespread of all cultural s, both in ...
such as the
incest taboo An incest taboo is any or that prohibits between certain members of the same , mainly between individuals . have norms that exclude certain close relatives from those considered suitable or permissible or partners, making such relationshi ...
. The field of
genealogy Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "study of family trees") is the study of , family history, and the tracing of their lineages. Genealogists use oral interviews, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain inform ...

genealogy
aims to trace family lineages through history. The family is also an important economic unit studied in
family economics Family economics applies economic concepts such as production, division of labor The division of labour is the separation of tasks in any economic system or organisation An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spel ...
. The word "families" can be used metaphorically to create more inclusive categories such as
community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense of place (geography), plac ...

community
,
nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense ...

nation
hood, and
global villageGlobal village describes the phenomenon of the entire world becoming more interconnected as the result of the propagation of media technologies throughout the world. The term was coined by Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan Herbert Marshal ...
.


Social

One of the primary functions of the family involves providing a framework for the production and reproduction of persons
biologically Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms, Developmenta ...
and socially. This can occur through the sharing of material substances (such as food); the giving and receiving of care and nurture (
nurture kinship The concept of nurture kinship in the anthropological study of human social relationships (kinship In , kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact m ...
); jural rights and obligations; and moral and sentimental ties.Schneider, David 1984 ''A Critique of the Study of Kinship''. Ann Arbor:
University of Michigan Press The University of Michigan Press is part of University of Michigan Library#Michigan Publishing, Michigan Publishing at the University of Michigan Library. It publishes 170 new titles each year in the humanities and social sciences. Titles from the ...
. p. 182
Thus, one's experience of one's family shifts over time. From the perspective of
children Biologically, a child (plural children) is a being between the stages of and , or between the of and puberty. The legal definition of ''child'' generally refers to a , otherwise known as a person younger than the . Children generally have ...

children
, the family is a "family of orientation": the family serves to locate children socially and plays a major role in their
enculturation Enculturation is the process by which people learn the dynamics of their surrounding culture and acquire values and norms appropriate or necessary to that culture and its worldviews.Grusec, Joan E.; Hastings, Paul D. ''Handbook of Socialization: T ...
and socialization. From the point of view of the parent(s), the family is a "family of procreation", the goal of which is to produce, enculturate and socialize children. However, producing children is not the only function of the family; in societies with a sexual division of labor,
marriage in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouse A religious marriage. A spouse is a significant other in a marriage in Stockholm Marr ...

marriage
, and the resulting relationship between two people, it is necessary for the formation of an economically productive
household A household consists of one or several persons who live in the same dwelling In law, a dwelling (also residence, abode) is a self-contained unit of accommodation used by one or more households as a home A home, or domicile, is a s ...

household
. Christopher Harris notes that the western conception of family is ambiguous and confused with the
household A household consists of one or several persons who live in the same dwelling In law, a dwelling (also residence, abode) is a self-contained unit of accommodation used by one or more households as a home A home, or domicile, is a s ...

household
, as revealed in the different contexts in which the word is used.
Olivia Harris Olivia Jane Harris (26 August 1948 – 9 April 2009) was a British social anthropologist whose work focused on the study of the Bolivian highlands. Her writing includes analyses of fertility, gender, money, conceptions of work and of time, the rela ...
states this confusion is not accidental, but indicative of the familial ideology of
capitalist Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for Profit (economics), profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, a price s ...
,
western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...

western
countries that pass social legislation that insists members of a
nuclear family A nuclear family, elementary family or conjugal family is a family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the ...
should live together, and that those not so related should not live together; despite the ideological and legal pressures, a large percentage of families do not conform to the ideal
nuclear family A nuclear family, elementary family or conjugal family is a family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the ...
type.


Size

The total fertility rate of women varies from country to country, from a high of 6.76 children born/woman in
Niger ) , official_languages = French , languages_type = National language A national language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed languag ...

Niger
to a low of 0.81 in
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
(as of 2015). Fertility is low in most
Eastern European Eastern Europe is the region of the Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly r ...
and
Southern European Southern Europe is the southern subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics ( human geography), and ...
countries; and high in most
Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories i ...

Sub-Saharan Africa
n countries. In some cultures, the mother's preference of family size influences that of the children through early adulthood. A parent's number of children strongly correlates with the number of children that their children will eventually have.


Types

Although early western
cultural anthropologist Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology Anthropology is the Science, scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, and society, societies, in both the present and past, including Homo, past hu ...
s and sociologists considered family and
kinship In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated. Anthropologist Robin Fox states th ...

kinship
to be universally associated with relations by "blood" (based on ideas common in their own cultures) later research has shown that many societies instead understand family through ideas of living together, the sharing of food (e.g.
milk kinship Milk kinship, formed during nursing by a non-biological mother, was a form of fostering allegiance with fellow community members. This particular form of kinship In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an impor ...
) and sharing care and
nurture The nature versus nurture debate involves whether human behavior is determined by the environment, either prenatal Prenatal development () includes the development of the embryo and of the foetus during a viviparous animal's gestationGestation ...
. Sociologists have a special interest in the function and status of family forms in stratified (especially
capitalist Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for Profit (economics), profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, a price s ...

capitalist
) societies. According to the work of scholars
Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociology, sociologist, historian, jurist, and political economy, political economist regarded as among the most important theorists of the development of Modernity, modern ...

Max Weber
,
Alan Macfarlane Alan Donald James Macfarlane (born 20 December 1941 in Shillong, Meghalaya Meghalaya (, ) (meaning "abode of clouds"; from Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a cla ...
,
Steven Ozment Steven Edgar Ozment (February 21, 1939 – December 12, 2019) was an American historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who st ...
,
Jack Goody Sir John Rankine Goody (1919–2015) was an English social anthropology, social anthropologist. He was a prominent lecturer at Cambridge University, and was William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology from 1973 to 1984. Among his main publica ...
and
Peter Laslett Thomas Peter Ruffell Laslett (18 December 1915 – 8 November 2001) was an English historian. Biography Laslett was the son of a Baptist minister and was born in Bedford on 18 December 1915. Although he spent much of his childhood in Oxford, he ...
, the huge transformation that led to modern marriage in Western democracies was "fueled by the religio-cultural value system provided by elements of
Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion ...
, early
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
,
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman Catholic
canon law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler A ruler, sometimes called a rule or line gauge, is a device used in geometry and technical drawing, as well as the engineering and construction industries, to measure dis ...
and the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity File:Petersdom von Engelsburg gesehen.jpg, 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the larges ...
". Much sociological,
historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study and the documentation of the past. Events before the History of writing#Inventions of writing, invention of writing systems ar ...

historical
and
anthropological Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, l ...
research dedicates itself to the understanding of this variation, and of changes in the family that form over time. Levitan claims:


Multigenerational family

Historically the most common family type was one in which grandparents, parents, and children lived together as a single unit. For example, the household might include the owners of a farm, one (or more) of their adult children, the adult child's spouse, and the adult child's own children (the owners' grandchildren). Members of the extended family are not included in this family group. Sometimes, "skipped" generation families, such as a grandparents living with their grandchildren, are included. In the US, this arrangement declined after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, reaching a low point in 1980, when about one out of every eight people in the US lived in a multigenerational family. The numbers have risen since then, with one in five people in the US living in a multigenerational family as of 2016. The increasing popularity is partly driven by demographic changes and the economic shifts associated with the
Boomerang Generation Boomerang Generation is a term applied in Western culture to young adults graduating high school and college in the 21st century. They are so named for the percentage of whom choose to share a home with their parents after previously living on their ...
. Multigenerational households are less common in Canada, where about 6% of people living in Canada were living in multigenerational families as of 2016, but the proportion of multigenerational households was increasing rapidly, driven by increasing numbers of Aboriginal families, immigrant families, and high housing costs in some regions.


Conjugal (nuclear) family

The term "
nuclear family A nuclear family, elementary family or conjugal family is a family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the ...
" is commonly used, especially in the
United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States of America
, to refer to conjugal families. A "
conjugal Conjugal rights may refer to: *Rights in marriage, related to conjugal responsibilities *Conjugal visits * Restitution of conjugal rights {{disambiguation ...

conjugal
" family includes only the spouses and unmarried children who are not of age. Some sociologists distinguish between conjugal families (relatively independent of the kindred of the parents and of other families in general) and nuclear families (which maintain relatively close ties with their kindred). Other family structures – with (for example) blended parents,
single parent A single parent is a person who lives with a child or children and who does not have a spouse or live-in partner. Reasons for becoming a single parent include divorce, break-up, abandonment, domestic violence, rape, death of the other parent, ch ...
s, and
domestic partnership A domestic partnership is a legal relationship between two individuals who live together "Live Together" is a song recorded by British singer Lisa Stansfield for her 1989 album, ''Affection (Lisa Stansfield album), Affection''. It was written b ...
s – have begun to challenge the normality of the nuclear family.


Single-parent family

A ''
single-parent family A single parent is a person who lives with a child or children and who does not have a spouse or live-in partner. Reasons for becoming a single parent include divorce, break-up, abandonment, domestic violence, rape, death of the other parent, ch ...
'' consists of one parent together with their children, where the parent is either widowed, divorced (and not remarried), or never married. The parent may have
sole custody Sole custody is a child custody Child custody is a Law, legal term regarding ''legal guardian, guardianship'' which is used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent or guardian and a child in that person's care. Child custo ...
of the children, or separated parents may have a shared-parenting arrangement where the children divide their time (possibly equally) between two different single-parent families or between one single-parent family and one
blended family A step family, blended family, bonus family, or instafamily is a family where at least one parent has children that are not biologically or adoptive related to the other spouse or partner. Either parent, or both, may have children from previous r ...
. As compared to sole custody, physical, mental and social well-being of children may be improved by shared-parenting arrangements and by children having greater access to both parents. The number of single-parent families have been increasing, and about half of all children in the United States will live in a single-parent family at some point before they reach the age of 18. Most single-parent families are headed by a mother, but the number of single-parent families headed by fathers is increasing.Tish Davidson
Single-parent families
Encyclopedia of Children's Health: "The most common type of single-parent family is one that consists of a mother and her biological children. ..Households headed by a single father increased substantially after the early 1980s .."


Matrifocal family

A "matrifocal" family consists of a
mother A mother is the female Female (symbol: ♀) is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, that produces non-mobile ovum, ova (egg cells). Barring rare medical conditions, most female mammals, including female humans, have two X chro ...

mother
and her children. Generally, these children are her biological offspring, although adoption of children occurs in nearly every society. This kind of family occurs commonly where women have the resources to rear their children by themselves, or where men are more mobile than women. As a definition, "a family or domestic group is matrifocal when it is centred on a woman and her children. In this case, the father(s) of these children are intermittently present in the life of the group and occupy a secondary place. The children's mother is not necessarily the wife of one of the children's fathers."


Extended family

The term "
extended family An extended family is a family that extends beyond the nuclear family A nuclear family, elementary family or conjugal family is a family group consisting of parents and their children (one or more). It is in contrast to a single-parent family, th ...

extended family
" is also common, especially in the United States. This term has two distinct meanings: # It serves as a synonym of "consanguinal family" (consanguine means "of the same blood"). # In societies dominated by the conjugal family, it refers to "" (an egocentric network of relatives that extends beyond the domestic group) who do not belong to the conjugal family. These types refer to ideal or normative structures found in particular societies. Any society will exhibit some variation in the actual composition and conception of families.


Family of choice

The term family of choice, also sometimes referred to as "chosen family" or "found family", is common within the
LGBT community The LGBT community (also known as the LGBTQ+ community, GLBT community, or the gay community) is a loosely defined grouping of lesbian A lesbian is a homosexual Homosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction Sexual ...
, veterans, individuals who have suffered abuse, and those who have no contact with biological "parents". It refers to the group of people in an individual's life that satisfies the typical role of family as a support system. The term differentiates between the "family of origin" (the biological family or that in which people are raised) and those that actively assume that ideal role. The family of choice may or may not include some or all of the members of the family of origin. This terminology stems from the fact that many
LGBT ' is an initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (li ...

LGBT
individuals, upon
coming out Coming out of the closet, often shortened to coming out, is a metaphor A metaphor is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in ord ...
, face rejection or shame from the families they were raised in. The term family of choice is also used by individuals in the 12 step communities, who create close-knit "family" ties through the recovery process. As a family system, families of choice face unique issues. Without legal safeguards, families of choice may struggle when medical, educational or governmental institutions fail to recognize their legitimacy. If members of the chosen family have been disowned by their family of origin, they may experience surrogate grief, displacing anger, loss, or anxious attachment onto their new family.


Blended family

The term ''blended family'' or ''
stepfamily A stepfamily, is a family where at least one parent has children that are not biologically or adoptive related to the other spouse. Either parent, or both, may have children from previous relationships or marriages. A "simple" stepfamily is one ...
'' describes families with mixed parents: one or both parents remarried, bringing children of the former family into the new family. Also in sociology, particularly in the works of social psychologist Michael Lamb, ''traditional family'' refers to "a middle-class family with a bread-winning father and a stay-at-home mother, married to each other and raising their biological children," and ''nontraditional'' to exceptions to this rule. Most of the US households are now non-traditional under this definition. Critics of the term "traditional family" point out that in most cultures and at most times, the
extended family An extended family is a family that extends beyond the nuclear family A nuclear family, elementary family or conjugal family is a family group consisting of parents and their children (one or more). It is in contrast to a single-parent family, th ...

extended family
model has been most common, not the nuclear family, though it has had a longer tradition in England than in other parts of Europe and Asia which contributed large numbers of immigrants to the Americas. The nuclear family became the most common form in the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s. In terms of communication patterns in families, there are a certain set of beliefs within the family that reflect how its members should communicate and interact. These family communication patterns arise from two underlying sets of beliefs. One being conversation orientation (the degree to which the importance of communication is valued) and two, conformity orientation (the degree to which families should emphasize similarities or differences regarding attitudes, beliefs, and values).


Monogamous family

A monogamous family is based on a legal or social
monogamy Monogamy ( ) is a form of dyadic relationship Relationship most often refers to: * Interpersonal relationship The concept of interpersonal relationship involves social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more peo ...
. In this case, an individual has only one (official) partner during their lifetime or at any one time (i.e.
serial monogamy Monogamy ( ) is a form of dyadic relationship Relationship most often refers to: * Interpersonal relationship The concept of interpersonal relationship involves social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more peo ...
).Cf. "Monogamy" in ''Britannica World Language Dictionary'', R.C. Preble (ed.), Oxford-London 1962, p. 1275:''1. The practice or principle of marrying only once. opp. to digamy now ''rare'' 2. The condition, rule or custom of being married to only one
person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is ...

person
at a time (opp. to polygamy or bigamy) 1708. 3. Zool. The habit of living in pairs, or having only one mate''; The same text repeats ''The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary'', W. Little, H.W. Fowler, J. Coulson (ed.), C.T. Onions (rev. & ed.,) Oxford 1969, 3rd edition, vol. 1, p. 1275
OED Online
March 2010. Oxford University Press. 23 Jun. 2010 Cf
Monogamy
in Merriam-Webster Dictionary
This means that a person may not have several different legal spouses at the same time, as this is usually prohibited by
bigamy In cultures where is mandated, bigamy is the act of entering into a with one person while still legally married to another. A of the couple does not alter their marital status as married persons. In the case of a person in the process of th ...
laws, in jurisdictions that require monogamous marriages.


Polygamous family

Polygamy Polygamy (from Late Greek Late Greek means writings in the Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient Greek, ancient , ''Hellēnikḗ'') is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family o ...
is a marriage that includes more than two partners. When a man is married to more than one wife at a time, the relationship is called
polygyny Polygyny (; from Neoclassical Greek πολυγυνία from πολύ- ''poly-'' "many", and γυνή ''gyne'' "woman" or "wife") is the most common and accepted form of polygamy Polygamy (from Late Greek Late Greek means writings in ...
; and when a woman is married to more than one husband at a time, it is called
polyandry Polyandry (; from grc-gre, πολυ- ''poly-'', "many" and ἀνήρ ''anēr'', "man") is a form of polygamy Polygamy (from Late Greek Late Greek means writings in the Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient ...
. If a marriage includes multiple husbands and wives, it can be called
polyamory Polyamory (from Ancient Greek, Greek ', "many", and Latin ', "love") is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the informed Sexual consent, consent of all partners involved. "Polyamory describes a ...

polyamory
, group or conjoint marriage.
Polygyny Polygyny (; from Neoclassical Greek πολυγυνία from πολύ- ''poly-'' "many", and γυνή ''gyne'' "woman" or "wife") is the most common and accepted form of polygamy Polygamy (from Late Greek Late Greek means writings in ...
is a form of plural marriage, in which a man is allowed more than one wife . In modern countries that permit polygamy, polygyny is typically the only form permitted. Polygyny is practiced primarily (but not only) in parts of the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
and
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
; and is often associated with
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
, however, there are certain conditions in Islam that must be met to perform polygyny.
Polyandry Polyandry (; from grc-gre, πολυ- ''poly-'', "many" and ἀνήρ ''anēr'', "man") is a form of polygamy Polygamy (from Late Greek Late Greek means writings in the Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient ...
is a form of marriage whereby a woman takes two or more husbands at the same time. Fraternal polyandry, where two or more brothers are married to the same wife, is a common form of polyandry. Polyandry was traditionally practiced in areas of the Himalayan mountains, among Tibetans in
Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is ma ...

Nepal
, in parts of
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
and in parts of northern
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
. Polyandry is most common in societies marked by high male mortality or where males will often be apart from the rest of the family for a considerable period of time.


Kinship terminology


Degrees of kinship

A first-degree relative is one who shares 50% of your DNA through direct inheritance, such as a full sibling, parent or progeny. There is another measure for the degree of relationship, which is determined by counting up generations to the first common ancestor and back down to the target individual, which is used for various genealogical and legal purposes.


Terminologies




In his book ''
Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family ''Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family'' is an 1871 book written by Lewis Henry Morgan (1818 - 1881) and published by the Smithsonian Institution The Smithsonian Institution ( ), also known simply as The Smithsonian, is a tr ...
'', anthropologist
Lewis Henry Morgan Lewis Henry Morgan (November 21, 1818 – December 17, 1881) was a pioneering American anthropologist and social theorist who worked as a railroad lawyer. He is best known for his work on kinship and social structure, his theories of social evolu ...
(1818–1881) performed the first survey of kinship terminologies in use around the world. Although much of his work is now considered dated, he argued that
kinship In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated. Anthropologist Robin Fox states th ...

kinship
terminologies reflect different sets of distinctions. For example, most kinship terminologies distinguish between sexes (the difference between a brother and a sister) and between generations (the difference between a child and a parent). Moreover, he argued, kinship terminologies distinguish between relatives by blood and
marriage in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouse A religious marriage. A spouse is a significant other in a marriage in Stockholm Marr ...

marriage
(although recently some anthropologists have argued that many societies define kinship in terms other than "blood"). Morgan made a distinction between kinship systems that use ''classificatory'' terminology and those that use ''descriptive'' terminology. Classificatory systems are generally and erroneously understood to be those that "class together" with a single term relatives who actually do not have the same type of relationship to ego. (What defines "same type of relationship" under such definitions seems to be genealogical relationship. This is problematic given that any genealogical description, no matter how standardized, employs words originating in a folk understanding of kinship.) What Morgan's terminology actually differentiates are those (classificatory) kinship systems that do not distinguish lineal and collateral relationships and those (descriptive) kinship systems that do. Morgan, a lawyer, came to make this distinction in an effort to understand
Seneca Seneca may refer to: People and language *Seneca (name), a list of people with either the given name or surname *Seneca the Elder, a Roman rhetorician, writer and father of the stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger *Seneca the Younger, a Roman Stoi ...
inheritance practices. A Seneca man's effects were inherited by his sisters' children rather than by his own children. Morgan identified six basic patterns of kinship terminologies: *
Hawaiian Hawaiian may refer to: * Hawaii state residents, regardless of ancestry * Native Hawaiians, the current term for the indigenous people of the Hawaiian Islands or their descendants * Hawaiian language Historic uses * things and people of the Kingdo ...
: only distinguishes relatives based upon sex and generation. * Sudanese: no two relatives share the same term. *
Eskimo Eskimo ( ) or Eskimos is a term used to refer to two closely related Indigenous peoples: The Inuit (including the Alaskan Iñupiat, the Greenlandic Inuit, and the Canadian Inuit) and the Yupik peoples, Yupik (or Siberian Yupik, Yuit) of eastern S ...
: in addition to distinguishing relatives based upon sex and generation, also distinguishes between lineal relatives and collateral relatives. *
Iroquois The Iroquois ( or ) or Haudenosaunee (; "People of the Longhouse") are an indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous pe ...
: in addition to sex and generation, also distinguishes between siblings of opposite sexes in the parental generation. *
Crow A crow is a bird of the genus ''Corvus ''Corvus'' is a widely distributed genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living and fossil organisms ...
: a matrilineal system with some features of an Iroquois system, but with a "skewing" feature in which generation is "frozen" for some relatives. *
Omaha Omaha ( ) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Nebraska and the county seat of Douglas County, Nebraska, Douglas County. Omaha is in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about north of the mouth of the Platte River (also kno ...
: like a Crow system but patrilineal.


Roles

Most Western societies employ
Eskimo kinship Eskimo ( ) or Eskimos are the indigenous peoples, indigenous circumpolar peoples who have traditionally inhabited the northern circumpolar region from eastern Siberia (Russia) to Alaska (United States), Northern Canada, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut, and ...
terminology. This kinship terminology commonly occurs in societies with strong
conjugal Conjugal rights may refer to: *Rights in marriage, related to conjugal responsibilities *Conjugal visits * Restitution of conjugal rights {{disambiguation ...
, where families have a degree of relative mobility. Typically, societies with conjugal families also favor
neolocal Neolocal residence is a type of post-marital residence in which a newly married couple resides separately from both the husband's natal household A household consists of one or several persons who live in the same dwelling In law, a dwelling ...
residence; thus upon marriage, a person separates from the nuclear family of their childhood (family of orientation) and forms a new nuclear family (family of procreation). Such systems generally assume that the mother's husband is also the biological father. The system uses highly descriptive terms for the nuclear family and progressively more classificatory as the relatives become more and more collateral.


Nuclear family

The system emphasizes the nuclear family. Members of the nuclear family use highly descriptive kinship terms, identifying directly only the husband, wife, mother, father, son, daughter, brother, and sister. All other relatives are grouped together into categories. Members of the nuclear family may be lineal or collateral. Kin, for whom these are family, refer to them in descriptive terms that build on the terms used within the nuclear family or use the nuclear family term directly. Nuclear family of orientation *
Brother A brother is a man A man is an adult male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male cannot sexu ...

Brother
: the male child of a parent. *
Sister A sister is a woman A woman is an adult female Female (symbol: ♀) is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, that produces non-mobile ovum, ova (egg cells). Barring rare medical conditions, most female mammals, including fema ...

Sister
: the female child of a parent. *
Father A father is the male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male cannot sexual reproduction, reproduce sex ...

Father
: a male parent. **
Grandfather Grandparents are the parent A parent is a caregiver of the offspring In biology, offspring are the young born of living organism, organisms, produced either by a single organism or, in the case of sexual reproduction, two organisms. Collecti ...

Grandfather
: the father of a parent. *
Mother A mother is the female Female (symbol: ♀) is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, that produces non-mobile ovum, ova (egg cells). Barring rare medical conditions, most female mammals, including female humans, have two X chro ...

Mother
: a female parent. **
Grandmother Grandparents are the parent A parent is a caregiver of the offspring In biology, offspring are the young born of living organism, organisms, produced either by a single organism or, in the case of sexual reproduction, two organisms. Collecti ...

Grandmother
: the mother of a parent. Nuclear conjugal family *
Husband A husband is a male Male (symbol: ♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete (sex cell) known as sperm, which fuses with the larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male organism cannot sexual repro ...

Husband
: a male spouse. *
Wife A wife is a female Female (symbol: ♀) is the sex Sex is either of two divisions, typically male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ...

Wife
: a female spouse. *
Son A son is a male Male (symbol: ♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete (sex cell) known as sperm, which fuses with the larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male organism cannot sexual reproduction ...

Son
: a male child of the parent(s). ** Grandson: a child's son. *
Daughter A daughter is a female Female (symbol: ♀) is the sex Sex is either of two divisions, typically male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete ...

Daughter
: a female child of the parent(s). ** Granddaughter: a child's daughter. Nuclear non-lineal family *
Spouse A spouse is a significant other in a marriage (in certain contexts, it can also apply to a civil union or common-law marriage). Although a spouse is a form of significant other, the latter term also includes non-marital partners who play a socia ...
: husband or wife **
Stepparent A step family, blended family, bonus family, or instafamily is a family where at least one parent has children that are not biologically or adoptive related to the other spouse or partner. Either parent, or both, may have children from previous r ...
: a spouse of a parent that is not a biological parent * Sibling: sister or brother **
Half-sibling A sibling is a gender neutral Gender neutrality (adjective form: gender-neutral), also known as gender-neutralism or the gender neutrality movement, is the idea that policies, language, and other social institutions (social structure In th ...
: a sibling with whom the subject shares only one biological parent ** Step-sibling: a child of a parent that is not a biological parent


Collateral relatives

A sibling is a collateral relative with a minimal removal. For collateral relatives with one additional removal, one generation more distant from a common ancestor on one side, more classificatory terms come into play. These terms (Aunt, Uncle, Niece, and Nephew) do not build on the terms used within the nuclear family as most are not traditionally members of the household. These terms do not traditionally differentiate between a collateral relatives and a person married to a collateral relative (both collateral and aggregate). Collateral relatives with additional removals on each side are Cousins. This is the most classificatory term and can be distinguished by degrees of collaterality and by generation (removal). When only the subject has the additional removal, the relative is the subject's parents' siblings, the terms Aunt and Uncle are used for female and male relatives respectively. When only the relative has the additional removal, the relative is the subjects siblings child, the terms Niece and Nephew are used for female and male relatives respectively. The spouse of a biological aunt or uncle is an aunt or uncle, and the nieces and nephews of a spouse are nieces and nephews. With further removal by the subject for aunts and uncles and by the relative for nieces and nephews the prefix "grand-" modifies these terms. With further removal the prefix becomes "great-grand-," adding another "great-" for each additional generation. When the subject and the relative have an additional removal they are cousins. A cousin with minimal removal is a first cousin, i.e. the child of the subjects uncle or aunt. Degrees of collaterality and removals are used to more precisely describe the relationship between cousins. The degree is the number of generations subsequent to the common ancestor before a parent of one of the cousins is found, while the removal is the difference between the number of generations from each cousin to the common ancestor (the difference between the generations the cousins are from). Cousins of an older generation (in other words, one's parents' first cousins), although technically first cousins once removed, are often classified with "aunts" and "uncles".


Aggregate relatives

English-speakers mark relationships by marriage (except for wife/husband) with the tag "-in-law". The mother and father of one's spouse become one's mother-in-law and father-in-law; the wife of one's son becomes one's daughter-in-law and the husband of one's daughter becomes one's son-in-law. The term "sister-in-law" refers to two essentially different relationships, either the wife of one's brother, or the sister of one's spouse. "Brother-in-law" is the husband of one's sister, or the brother of one's spouse. The terms "half-brother" and "half-sister" indicate siblings who share only one biological parent. The term "aunt-in-law" is the wife of one's uncle, or the aunt of one's spouse. "Uncle-in-law" is the husband of one's aunt, or the uncle of one's spouse. "Cousin-in-law" is the spouse of one's cousin, or the cousin of one's spouse. The term "niece-in-law" is the wife of one's nephew, or the niece of one's spouse. "Nephew-in-law" is the husband of one's niece, or the nephew of one's spouse. The grandmother and grandfather of one's spouse become one's grandmother-in-law and grandfather-in-law; the wife of one's grandson becomes one's granddaughter-in-law and the husband of one's granddaughter becomes one's grandson-in-law. In Indian English a sibling in law who is the spouse of your sibling can be referred to as a co-sibling (specificity a co-sister or co-brother).


Types of kinship


Patrilineal

Patrilineality, also known as ''the male line'' or ''agnatic kinship'', is a form of kinship system in which an individual's family membership derives from and is traced through his or her father's Lineage (anthropology), lineage. It generally involves the inheritance of property, rights, names, or titles by persons related through male kin. A patriline ("father line") is a person's father, and additional ancestors that are traced only through males. One's patriline is thus a record of descent from a man in which the individuals in all intervening generations are male. In cultural anthropology, a patrilineage is a Consanguinity, consanguineal male and female Kinship, kinship group, each of whose members is descended from the common ancestor through male forebears.


Matrilineal

Matrilineality is a form of kinship system in which an individual's family membership derives from and is traced through his or her mother's Lineage (anthropology), lineage. It may also correlate with a societal system in which each person is identified with their matriline—their mother's Lineage (anthropology), lineage—and which can involve the inheritance of property and titles. A matriline is a line of descent from a female ancestor to a descendant in which the individuals in all intervening generations are mothersin other words, a "mother line". In a matrilineal descent system, an individual is considered to belong to the same descent group as her or his mother. This matrilineal descent pattern is in contrasts to the more common pattern of patrilineal descent pattern.


Bilateral descent

Bilateral descent is a form of kinship system in which an individual's family membership derives from and is traced through both the paternal and maternal sides. The relatives on the mother's side and father's side are equally important for emotional ties or for transfer of property or wealth. It is a family arrangement where descent and inheritance are passed equally through both parents. Families who use this system trace descent through both parents simultaneously and recognize multiple ancestors, but unlike with cognatic descent it is not used to form descent groups. Traditionally, this is found among some groups in West Africa,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
, Australia, Indonesia, Melanesia, Malaysia and Polynesia. Anthropologists believe that a tribal structure based on bilateral descent helps members live in extreme environments because it allows individuals to rely on two sets of families dispersed over a wide area.


History of theories

Early scholars of family history applied Charles Darwin, Darwin's biological theory of evolution in their theory of evolution of family systems. American anthropologist Lewis H. Morgan published ''Ancient Society'' in 1877 based on his theory of the three stages of human progress from Primitive culture, Savagery through barbarian, Barbarism to Civilization. Morgan's book was the "inspiration for Friedrich Engels' book" ''The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State'' published in 1884. Engels expanded Morgan's hypothesis that economical factors caused the transformation of primitive community into a class-divided society. Engels' theory of resource control, and later that of Karl Marx, was used to explain the cause and effect of change in family structure and function. The popularity of this theory was largely unmatched until the 1980s, when other sociological theories, most notably structural functionalism, gained acceptance.


The nuclear family in industrial society

Contemporary society generally views the family as a haven from the world, supplying absolute fulfillment. Zinn and Eitzen discuss the image of the "family as haven ... a place of intimacy, love and Trust (social sciences), trust where individuals may Escapism, escape the competition of dehumanizing forces in modern society". During industrialization, "[t]he family as a repository of warmth and tenderness (embodied by the mother) stands in opposition to the competitive and aggressive world of commerce (embodied by the father). The family's task was to protect against the outside world."Zinn and Eitzen (1987)
Diversity in American families
', p. 3
However, Zinn and Eitzen note, "The protective image of the family has waned in recent years as the ideals of family fulfillment have taken shape. Today, the family is more compensatory than protective. It supplies what is vitally needed but missing in other social arrangements." "The popular wisdom", according to Zinn and Eitzen, sees the family structures of the past as superior to those today, and families as more stable and happier at a time when they did not have to contend with problems such as illegitimate children and divorce. They respond to this, saying, "there is no golden age of the family gleaming at us in the far back historical past."Zinn and Eitzen (1987)
Diversity in American families
', p. 8
"Desertion by spouses, illegitimate children, and other conditions that are considered characteristics of modern times existed in the past as well."


The postmodern family

Others argue that whether or not one views the family as "declining" depends on one's definition of "family". "Married couples have dropped below half of all American households. This drop is shocking from traditional forms of the family system. Only a fifth of households were following traditional ways of having married couples raising a family together." In the Western World, marriages are no longer arranged marriage, arranged for economic, social or political gain, and children are no longer expected to contribute to family income. Instead, people choose mates based on love. This increased role of love indicates a societal shift toward favoring emotional fulfilment and relationships within a family, and this shift necessarily weakens the institution of the family. Margaret Mead considers the family as a main safeguard to continuing human progress. Observing, "Human beings have learned, laboriously, to be human", she adds: "we hold our present form of humanity on trust, [and] it is possible to lose it" ... "It is not without significance that the most successful large-scale abrogations of the family have occurred not among simple savages, living close to the subsistence edge, but among great nations and strong empires, the resources of which were ample, the populations huge, and the power almost unlimited" Many countries (particularly Western) have, in recent years, changed their family laws in order to accommodate diverse family models. For instance, in the United Kingdom, in Scotland, the ''Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006'' provides cohabitants with some limited rights. In 2010, Ireland enacted the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010. There have also been moves at an international level, most notably, the Council of Europe ''European Convention on the Legal Status of Children Born out of Wedlock'' which came into force in 1978. Countries which ratify it must ensure that children born outside marriage are provided with legal rights as stipulated in the text of this convention. The convention was ratified by the UK in 1981 and by Ireland in 1988. In the United States, one in five mothers has children by different fathers; among mothers with two or more children the figure is higher, with 28% having children with at least two different men. Such families are more common among Blacks and Hispanics and among the lower socioeconomic class. However, in western society, the single parent family has been growing more accepted and has begun to make an impact on culture. Single parent families are more commonly single mother families than single father. These families sometimes face difficult issues besides the fact that they have to rear their children on their own, for example, low income making it difficult to pay for rent, child care, and other necessities for a healthy and safe home. Furthermore, there are families that consist of two mothers, two fathers, non-binary, trans, and queer folks raising children. This is made possible due to surrogacy, IVF, IUI, adoption, and other processes.


Domestic violence

Domestic violence (DV) is violence that happens within the family. The legal and social understanding of the concept of DV differs by culture. The definition of the term "domestic violence" varies, depending on the context in which it is used. It may be defined differently in medical, legal, political or social contexts. The definitions have varied over time, and vary in different parts of the world. The Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence states that: In 1993, the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women identified domestic violence as one of three contexts in which violence against women occurs, describing it as:


Family violence

Family violence is a broader definition, often used to include child abuse, elder abuse, and other violent acts between family members.Wallace, p. 2 Child abuse is defined by the World Health Organization, WHO as: There exists legislation to prevent and punish the occurrence of these offences. There are laws regarding familial sexual activity, which states that it is a criminal offence to have any kind of sexual relationship between one's grandparent, parent, sibling, aunt or uncle. Elder abuse is, according to the WHO: "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person".


Parental abuse of children (child abuse)

Child abuse is the physical, sexual or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child or children. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department for Children and Families (DCF) define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child. Child abuse can occur in a child's home, or in the organizations, schools or communities the child interacts with. There are four major categories of child abuse: child neglect, neglect, physical abuse, psychological abuse, psychological or emotional abuse, and child sexual abuse, sexual abuse.


Parental abuse by children

Abuse of parents by their children is a common but under reported and under researched subject. Parents are quite often subject to levels of childhood aggression in excess of normal childhood aggressive outbursts, typically in the form of verbal abuse, verbal or physical abuse, physical abuse. Parents feel a sense of shame and humiliation to have that problem, so they rarely seek help and there is usually little or no help available anyway.


Elder abuse

Elder abuse is "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person". This definition has been adopted by the World Health Organization from a definition put forward by Action on Elder Abuse in the UK. Laws protecting the elderly from abuse are similar to, and related to, laws protecting dependent adults from abuse. The core element to the harm of elder abuse is the "expectation of trust" of the older person toward their abuser. Thus, it includes harms by people the older person knows or with whom they have a relationship, such as a spouse, partner or family member, a friend or neighbor, or people that the older person relies on for services. Many forms of elder abuse are recognized as types of domestic violence or family violence.


Forced and child marriage

Forced and child marriages are practiced in certain regions of the world, particularly in Asia and
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
, and these types of marriages are associated with a high rate of domestic violence. A forced marriage is a marriage where one or both participants are married without their freely given consent. The line between forced marriage and consensual marriage may become blurred, because the social norms of many cultures dictate that one should never oppose the desire of one's parents/relatives in regard to the choice of a spouse; in such cultures it is not necessary for violence, threats, intimidation etc. to occur, the person simply "consents" to the marriage even if he/she doesn't want it, out of the implied social pressure and duty. The customs of bride price and dowry, that exist in parts of the world, can lead to buying and selling people into marriage. A child marriage is a
marriage in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouse A religious marriage. A spouse is a significant other in a marriage in Stockholm Marr ...

marriage
where one or both spouses are under 18. Child marriage was common throughout history but is today condemned by international human rights organizations. Child marriages are often arranged between the families of the future bride and groom, sometimes as soon as the girl is born. Child marriages can also occur in the context of marriage by abduction.


The concept of family honour

Family honor is an abstract concept involving the perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects the social standing and the self-evaluation of a group of related people, both corporately and individually. The family is viewed as the main source of honor and the community highly values the relationship between honor and the family. The conduct of family members reflects upon family honor and the way the family perceives itself, and is perceived by others. In culture of honor, cultures of honor maintaining the family honor is often perceived as more important than either individual freedom, or individual achievement. In extreme cases, engaging in acts that are deemed to tarnish the honor of the family results in honor killings. An honor killing is the homicide of a member of a family or social group by other members, due to the perpetrators' belief that the victim has brought shame or dishonor upon the family or community, usually for reasons such as refusing to enter an arranged marriage, being in a relationship that is disapproved by their relatives, having sex outside marriage, becoming the victim of rape, dressing in ways which are deemed inappropriate, or engaging in Homosexuality, homosexual relations.


Economic issues

A family is often part of a sharing economy with common ownership.


Dowry, bride price and dower

Dowry is property (money, goods, or estate) that a wife or wife's family gives to her husband when the wife and husband marry. Offering dowry was common in many cultures historically (including in Europe and North America), but this practice today is mostly restricted to some areas primarily in the Indian subcontinent. Bride price, (also bridewealth or bride token), is property paid by the groom or his family to the parents of a woman upon the marriage of their daughter to the groom. It is practiced mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa, parts of South-East Asia (Thailand, Cambodia), and parts of Central Asia. Dower is property given to the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage, and which remains under her ownership and control.


Property regimes and taxation

In some countries married couples benefit from various taxation advantages not available to a single person or to unmarried couples. For example, spouses may be allowed to average their combined incomes. Some jurisdictions recognize common law marriage or ''de facto'' relations for this purposes. In some jurisdictions there is also an option of civil partnership or
domestic partnership A domestic partnership is a legal relationship between two individuals who live together "Live Together" is a song recorded by British singer Lisa Stansfield for her 1989 album, ''Affection (Lisa Stansfield album), Affection''. It was written b ...
. Different property regimes exist for spouses. In many countries, each marriage partner has the choice of keeping their property community property, separate or combining properties. In the latter case, called community property, when the marriage ends by divorce each owns half. In lieu of a will (law), will or trust law, trust, property owned by the deceased generally is inherited by the surviving spouse.


Rights and laws


Reproductive rights

Reproductive rights are legal rights and freedoms relating to reproduction and reproductive health. These include the right to decide on issues regarding the number of children born, family planning, contraception, and private life, free from coercion and discrimination; as well as the right to access health services and adequate information. According to UNFPA, reproductive rights "include the right to decide the number, timing and spacing of children, the right to voluntarily marry and establish a family, and the right to the highest attainable standard of health, among others". Family planning refers to the factors that may be considered by individuals and couples in order for them to control their fertility, anticipate and attain the desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births. The state and church have been, and still are in some countries, involved in controlling the size of families, often using coercive methods, such as bans on contraception or abortion (where the policy is a natalist one—for example through tax on childlessness) or conversely, discriminatory policies against large families or even forced abortions (e.g., China's one-child policy in place from 1978 to 2015). Forced sterilization has often targeted ethnic minority groups, such as Roma women in Eastern Europe, or indigenous women in Peru (during the 1990s).


Parents' rights

The Parents' rights movement, parents' rights movement is a movement whose members are primarily interested in issues affecting parents and children related to family law, specifically parental rights and obligations. Mothers' rights movements focus on maternal health, workplace issues such as labor rights, breastfeeding, and rights in family law. The fathers' rights movement is a movement whose members are primarily interested in issues related to family law, including child custody and child support, that affect fathers and their children.#FRALR, Collier & Sheldon, 2006, pp. 1–26.


Children's rights

Children's rights are the human rights of children, with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to minors, including their right to association with both parents, their right to human identity, their right to be provided in regard to their other basic needs, and their right to be free from violence and abuse.


Marriage rights

Each jurisdiction has its own marriage laws. These laws differ significantly from country to country; and these laws are often controversial. Areas of controversy include women's rights as well as same-sex marriage.


Legal reforms

Legal reforms to family laws have taken place in many countries during the past few decades. These dealt primarily with gender equality within marriage and with divorce laws. Women have been given equal rights in marriage in many countries, reversing older family laws based on the dominant legal role of the husband. Coverture, which was enshrined in the common law of England and the US for several centuries and throughout most of the 19th century, was abolished. In some European countries the changes that lead to gender equality were slower. The period of 1975–1979 saw a major overhaul of family laws in countries such as Italy, Spain, Austria,''Contemporary Western European Feminism'', by Gisela Kaplan, p. 133 West Germany, and Portugal. In 1978, the Council of Europe passed the ''Resolution (78) 37 on equality of spouses in civil law''. Among the last European countries to establish full gender equality in marriage were Switzerland. In 1985, a referendum guaranteed women legal equality with men within marriage. The new reforms came into force in January 1988. In Greece, in 1983, legislation was passed guaranteeing equality between spouses, abolishing dowry, and ending legal discrimination against illegitimate children. In 1981, Spain abolished the requirement that married women must have their husbands' permission to initiate judicial proceedings the Netherlands, and France in the 1980s. In recent decades, the marital power has also been abolished in African countries that had this doctrine, but many African countries that were former French colonies still have discriminatory laws in their marriages regulations, such regulations originating in the Napoleonic Code that has inspired these laws. In some countries (predominantly Roman Catholic) divorce was legalized only recently (e.g. Italy (1970), Portugal (1975), Brazil (1977), Spain (1981), Argentina (1987), Ireland (1996), Chile (2004) and Malta (2011)) although annulment and legal separation were options. Philippines still does not allow divorce. (see Divorce law by country). The laws pertaining to the situation of children born outside marriage have also been revised in many countries (see Legitimacy (family law)).


Health


Family medicine

Family medicine is a medical specialty devoted to comprehensive health care for people of all ages; it is based on knowledge of the patient in the context of the family and the community, emphasizing disease prevention and health promotion. The importance of family medicine is being increasingly recognized.


Maternal mortality

Maternal mortality or maternal death is defined by World Health Organization, WHO as "the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes." Historically, maternal mortality was a major cause of women's death. In recent decades, advances in healthcare have resulted in rates of maternal mortality having dropped dramatically, especially in Western countries. Maternal mortality however remains a serious problem in many African and Asian counties.


Infant and child mortality

Infant mortality is the death of a child less than one year of age. Child mortality is the death of a child before the child's fifth birthday. Like maternal mortality, infant and child mortality were common throughout history, but have decreased significantly in modern times.


Politics

While in many parts of the world family policies seek to promote a gender-equal organization of the family life, in others the male-dominated family continues to be the official policy of the authorities, which is also supported by law. For instance, the Civil Code of Iran states at Article 1105: "In relations between husband and wife; the position of the head of the family is the exclusive right of the husband". In some parts of the world, some governments promote a specific form of family, such as that based on traditional family values. The term "family values" is often used in political discourse in some countries, its general meaning being that of traditional or cultural values that pertain to the family's structure, function, roles, beliefs, attitudes, and ideals, usually involving the "traditional family"—a middle class, middle-class family with a breadwinner father and a homemaker mother, raising their biological children. Any deviation from this family model is considered a "nontraditional family". These family ideals are often advanced through policies such as marriage promotion. Some jurisdictions outlaw practices which they deem as socially or religiously unacceptable, such as fornication, cohabitation or adultery.


Work-family balance

Work-family balance is a concept involving proper prioritizing between work/career and family life. It includes issues relating to the way how work and families intersect and influence each other. At a political level, it is reflected through policies such maternity leave and paternity leave. Since the 1950s, social scientists as well as feminists have increasingly criticized gendered arrangements of work and care, and the male breadwinner role, and policies are increasingly targeting men as fathers, as a tool of changing gender relations.


Protection of private and family life

Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides a right to respect for one's "private and family life, his home and his privacy of correspondence, correspondence", subject to certain restrictions that are "in accordance with law" and "necessary in a democratic society". .


Criticism

Certain social scientists have advocated the abolition of the family. An early opponent of the family was Socrates whose position was outlined by Plato in ''The Republic''. In Book 5 of ''The Republic'', Socrates tells his interlocutors that a just city is one in which citizens have no family ties. The family being such a deep-rooted and much-venerated institution, few intellectuals have ventured to speak against it. Familialism has been atypically defined as a "social structure where ... a family's values are held in higher esteem than the values of the individual members of the family". In-group favoritism, Favoritism granted to relatives regardless of wikt:merit, merit is called nepotism. The Russian-American Rationalism, rationalist and Individualism, individualist philosopher, novelist and playwright Ayn Rand compared partiality towards
consanguinity Consanguinity ("blood relation", from Latin '':wikt: consanguinitas, consanguinitas'') is the characteristic of having a kinship with another person (being descended from a common ancestor). Many jurisdictions have laws prohibiting people who ar ...

consanguinity
with racism, as a small-scale manifestation of the latter. Said i
one of the lectures
Ayn Rand delivered.
"The worship of the family is merely racism, like a crudely primitive first installment on the worship of the tribe. It places the accident of birth above a man's values and duty to the tribe above a man's right to his own life." Additionally, she spoke in favor of childfree lifestyle, while following it herself.


The family and social justice

One of the controversies regarding the family is the application of the concept of social justice to the private sphere of family relations, in particular with regard to the rights of women and children's rights, children. Throughout much of the history, most philosophers who advocated for social justice focused on the public political arena, not on the family structures; with the family often being seen as a separate entity which needed to be protected from outside state intrusion. One notable exception was John Stuart Mill, who, in his work ''The Subjection of Women'', advocated for greater rights for women within marriage and family. Second wave feminists argued that the personal is political, stating that there are strong connections between personal experiences and the larger social and political structures. In the context of the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s, this was a challenge to the
nuclear family A nuclear family, elementary family or conjugal family is a family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the ...
and family values, as they were understood then.Angela Harutyunyan, Kathrin Hörschelmann, Malcolm Miles (2009) ''Public Spheres After Socialism'
pp. 50–51
/ref> Feminists focused on domestic violence, arguing that the reluctance—in law or in practice—of the state to intervene and offer protection to women who have been abused within the family, is in violation of women's human rights, and is the result of an ideology which places family relations outside the conceptual framework of human rights.


Global trends in family composition

Statistics from an infographic by Olivier Ballou showed that, However, Swedish statisticians reported in 2013 that, in contrast to many countries, since the 2000s, fewer children have experienced their parents' separation, childlessness had decreased in Sweden and marriages had increased. It had also become more common for couples to have a third child suggesting that the nuclear family was no longer in decline in Sweden.


See also

* Childlessness * Familialism * Family economics * Household * Nepotism * Parent * Stepfamily * Voluntary childlessness


References


Citations


Sources

* Race, Class, & Gender: An Anthology, 9th edition. Editors: Margaret L. Anderson and Patricia Hill Collins. Cengage Learning.


Bibliography

* * * * Esping-Andersen, Gøsta (2009). The incomplete revolution: Adapting welfare states to women's new roles. Cambridge: ''Polity Press''. * * Forbes, Scott, ''A Natural History of Families'', (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005), * Foucault, Michel (1978). ''The History of Sexuality: Volume I: An Introduction''. (New York: Vintage Books). * Paul Gilroy, Gilroy, Paul "Identity Belonging and the Critique of Pure Sameness" in Gilroy, Paul (2000) ''Against Race: Imagining Political Culture Beyond the Color Line'', (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press), Ch. I.3, pp. 97–133 * Jack Goody, Goody, Jack
The Development of the Family and Marriage in Europe
' (Cambridge University Press, 1980); translated into Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese. * Mock, Douglas W., ''More Than Kin and Less Than Kind'', (Belknap Press, 2004), * David M. Schneider, Schneider, David M., ''American Kinship: a cultural approach'' (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980). * *


External links

* {{Authority control Family, Society