Social Institution of the Family Essay

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Abstract The social institution of the family is one of our oldest institutions. Through the years it has gone through some changes and many challenges. In this paper I will describe what the social institution of the family is, its functions, how it is failing in the United States, and how other countries are dealing with these issues. The Family as a Social Institution Introduction A social institution is an organization that puts in place a set of norms to connect an individual with the rest of society. There are predominantly five social institutions found among human groups, these are family, religion, government, education, and economics. The primary functions of a social institution are to satisfy the basic needs of a…show more content…
The late twentieth century witnessed the social institution of family going through many changes, and even though nuclear families which follow the typical gender roles still exist, this age changed the definitions of gender roles to give a new meaning to the social institution of the family. Many financial, cultural, political, social and psychological aspects contributed to this change in the social institution of the family. The other modifying aspects to the institution which were seen in the times up to the late twentieth century were in the conditions of living and the occurrence of childcare. Many new dimensions were established within the social institution of the family. The sense of class and ethnic diversities contributed to the change within this social institution (Mintz, 2009, p. 207). With the increasing occurrences of divorce and a rise in the statistics showing blended families, the institution of family has experienced a period of major transformation in recent times and the overall structure has changed. The basic idea of the social institution of the family is dependent on how the government and the society view it. The workings of the institution of the family are greatly impacted by social and cultural standards. The general beliefs and the social and cultural definitions found in the American identity affect the definitions of the family (Fineman, 1993, p. 387). The general workings of an American
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