Words of Wisdom:

"success is a ladder that can not be climbed with your hands in your pocket" - IMDave357


  • Date Submitted: 03/30/2010 12:26 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 40.9 
  • Words: 2070
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Over the years, the idea and meaning of family has evolved into a more complex and diverse social institution. In the past, family was defined on the basis of the nuclear family; including the parents (heterosexual and married) and the children. With the definition of family ever changing, we can no longer rely on the traditional meaning of the institution of family. The many variations of families now include; extended and modified- extended (which consists of nuclear family plus grandparents), married and unmarried, same-sex couples, with or without children and involves various other members outside of the immediate circle (Baker, 2006). It is because of this that Baker describes how the foundation of what makes up a family has changed when she states, “Although sociological definitions formerly focused on who constitute a family, more researchers and theorist now emphasize what characterizes a family” (Baker, 2006).
The definitions, structure and roles associated in the constitution of a family, according to Baker are greatly influenced in terms of individual cultures, traditions, religious beliefs, socio-economic status, as well as historical experiences.
This essay will focus on the institution of family, what it means and how it has changed in terms of its functions and structure.
A great example of what was expected of the family of the past, in terms of roles and obtaining a high quality of living, is demonstrated in the film documentary: Making Sense of the Sixties/ Seeds of the Sixties. In this short film we see how the adults who survived the depression formed a method with rules to ensure continued success for the family.
During the time in which this documentary takes place, the family was based on the nuclear family and each member was designated a certain role. The mother; homemaker who took care of all household chores and the children, the father; financial provider and the children conditioned to follow in their parents shoes.


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