The Role of Family in Todays Society
Throughout history, the definition of the family has evolved and changed to adapt to the political, economical, and social pressures of society. For this very reason, it is difficult to establish specific criteria that must be met in order to be considered a family. A broader definition is often used, however to define the term family is what many would consider a matter of personal experience and opinion. This opinion varies depending on your experiences as a child and your lifestyle. The reasons for the changes throughout history are vast, but routinely prove that the family is a solid institution that can adapt to any sort of change. As we study our ancestors and world history, it becomes evident that the change in family forms, the fluctuation of birth rates, and the roles of each member in a family has affected the primary functions of a family. The family is an institution which has shifted from primarily being an economic necessity, to an emotional support system and expectation of society. Today, the Vanier Institute of the Family defines family as the following:
“Any combination of two or more persons who are bound together over time by ties of mutual consent, birth and/or adoption or placement and who, together, assume responsibilities for variant combinations of some of the following: Physical maintenance and care of group members, addition of new members through procreation or adoption, socialization of children, social control of members, production, consumption, distribution of goods and services, and affective nurturance — love.”
As far back as is known, there has always been some sort of family institution in every society. The Hunter-Gatherers were the earliest human families, which consisted of a group of men and women raising children together. The men were often away hunting for the family, while the women stayed with the children gathering other edibles. Once agriculture was established, monogamy...