Family

In the context of human society, a family (from Latin: familia) is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity (by recognized birth), affinity (by marriage), or co-residence (as implied by the etymology of the English word “family”Cite error: A tag is missing the closing (see the help page). [1] Thus, one’s experience of one’s family shifts over time. From the perspective of children, the family is a “family of orientation”: the family serves to locate children socially and plays a major role in their enculturation and socialization.[2] From the point of view of the parent(s), the family is a “family of procreation,” the goal of which is to produce and enculturate and socialize children.[3] However, producing children is not the only function of the family; in societies with a sexual division of labor, marriage, and the resulting relationship between two people, it is necessary for the formation of an economically productive household.[4][5][6]

Christopher Harris notes that the western conception of family is ambiguous, and confused with the household, as revealed in the different contexts in which the word is used. [7] Olivia Harris states this confusion is not accidental, but indicative of the familial ideology of capitalist, western countries that pass social legislation that insists members of a nuclear family 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 type.[8]