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Family: Functions. Types. Single-parent. Same sex. Modern family. Personal isolation. Unisex family. Reasons for marriage. Divorce. Trial separation.

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Автор(ы) текста: Marina Sokol

I. Functions.

1.- One of the primary functions of the family is to produce and reproduce personsbiologically and socially. The experience of one's family shifts over time. The family serves to locate children socially and plays a major role in their enculturation and socialization.

2.- Also a family in a traditional society forms the primary economic unit. This economic role has diminished in modern times, except some certain sectors such as agriculture.

II. Types.

1.- Family joins together people's lives in emotional and economic ways. Family traditionally is the formation of a new household with the married couple living together in the same home, often sharing the same bed. This family is often referred to as patrilocal.

2.- There are some other, original traditions. There is a matrilocal family, for example in West Sumatra, with the husband moving into his wife's mother's household. The Hopi Indians of Arizona generally live in family groups called clans. It is usual for the woman to be the head of the family home.

3.- The majority of Inuit people from Alaska are nomads, they don't tent to live in houses and it is quite common for a man to have several wives. And in some regions of Tibet there are polygamic families with a wife having several husbands, because of the lack in men.

4.- In some parts of Kentucky and Virginia it is quite normal for girls of twelve or thirteen to get married and to start a family. Young couples tend to live with their parents until they finish their education.

5.- In Saudi Arabia there is the misyar family, it involves the husband and wife living separately but meeting regularly.

III. Single-parent.

In single-parent families a parent cares for one or more children without the assistance of another parent in the home. Single parenthood may occur for reasons: divorce, adoption, artificial insemination, surrogate motherhood, or extramarital pregnancy, or as death or abandonment by one parent.

IV. Same sex.

Same-sex marriages have existed, ranging from informal to official unions. Numerous studies show that the children of same-sex couples are not disadvantaged. However, opponents of same-sex marriage claim that children do best with both a mother and a father, who honor their marital vows. To my mind it doesn't matter. Of course there may be some problems with sex-identification (Oedipus complex), but the same problem still exists in single-parent families.

V. Modern family.

The nature of the family is changing now. In European countries around half of all babies are now born to unmarried parents. Families are getting smaller, the birthrate is falling. More women have careers, they are waiting longer to start a family.

VI. Personal isolation.

People are more mobile, and they don't know each other so well as they used to. Now there is a trend, when a family is scattered all over the country or even over the world. One can have a lot of relatives, but they don't live together. People don't get acquainted with their neighbors and other people around.

I don't consider personal isolation to be a problem. People choose the way of living that they need. And if they need to live with relatives, they do. If they get a job in another part of the country, they may go there or they can stay at their home-town. It's a question of personal choice and setting of priorities.

VII. Unisex family.

Unisex family is when husband and wife share housework and breadwinning. So, it is possible for both to make their careers. They also can reverse their traditional roles. I think, unisex family is the most successful type of family, where both partners have equal possibilities, they can voluntary choose their way of life and role in the family. It is not fair to leave all the house work, which is much more unpleasant, then wage-earning, to the woman, who also wants to achieve self fulfilling. As for me, I hate housekeeping chores and I would be glad to take the role of the breadwinner in the family.

VIII. Reasons for marriage.

There are different reasons for marriage, I could divide them into two groups. The first group contains only one reason – it's love! When two people create a union to be together all their lives, they love each other and want to share one home, equal rights and one life.

Another group of reasons may be called a marriage of convenience, it is a marriage, managed for personal gain: to have children, for money, to have someone to do housework, to get citizenship and so on.

IX. Divorce.

1.- Divorce is the final termination of a marriage, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage. In most countries, divorce requires the sanction of a judge or other authority in a legal process.

2.- The legal process for divorce may also involve issues of child custody, distribution of property and division of debt.

3.- Reasons for divorce may also be different – emotional and divorce for convenience, which is rare. The family may become dysfunctional, there can be also an acrimonious divorce – full of anger, arguments and bad feelings.

4.- Sociologists claim, that a divorce may affect children badly, but I can't agree. It depends on the each certain family and each certain child. Some problems may emerge, but it's not connected with the divorce itself, to my mind, but with the personal relationship between parents or between parents and children. Also, the divorce cannot be considered as a problem, I think. It's personal choice of every partner, which has a right to live the way he likes. It doesn't affect society, as I have said, it doesn't affect children, at least in a direct way.

X. Trial separation.

There is also a status called trial separation. When a couple is not divorced, but they don't live together and don't take marital responsibilities, in particular it is connected with property.


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