Family Is The Most Basic Unit Of Structure

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Family, being the most basic unit of structure, plays an important role in societies worldwide. It is in the household where future generations are nurtured and educated. Relatives do not only provide company, but are also a helping hand in times of need. The family is a community, no matter how big or small it may be. The idea of what constitutes a family varies across nations and cultures. Some people differentiate between the nuclear family and the extended family, while others view both components as one whole. Single headed homes are also a prevalent form of familial structure in many places of the world. Certain families may have one male head with several wives and children or vice versa. Although the arrangements and ideas of what…show more content…
In earlier years, many grandparents died before the birth of their grandchildren or soon after. This was due to the low fertility control and late marriages in nineteenth-century North America. Couples were bearing children at a much older age, shortening the mutual lifetime between a grandparent and a grandchild. This generation gap also explained why most households barely contained any elderly relatives. Another reason for the prevailing nuclear family structure is the high fertility rate. Parents were producing more than one child and when those children got married and had children of their own, the family would have been too large to reside in just one home. This forced the siblings to create their own nuclear families once they got married and moved out. Shorter life spans and an increased fertility rate, were the prerequisites for North America’s nuclear family arrangement. The Extended Family Sociologists Castillo, Weisblat, and Villareal go to a lengthy extent in order to support the fact that a clear definition for the extended family does not exist , however, for the sake of this research, it will be defined as being composed of any kin outside of the nuclear family. This includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, and in-laws. Although not common in the United States, the extended family format seems to prevail in other countries. The main reason being that it
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