March 19, 2016
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).  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. 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. 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.
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.  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.