In every culture in the world, a family is very important. Different cultures have different views of the term family and what it means in detail. However, the concept of family in cultures all over the world relate in one way or another. This paper explores the concept of family and what it really means.
In the human context, the term family refers to a group of people who are related by affinity, consanguinity and residence. Family can also be used to mean people attached together by, culture, tradition, friendship, religion, race and ethnicity.
In societal point of view, the family is a term used to refer to certain aspects. A family can be used to mean people who have been born from the same ancestors. This way, a family then, is an extended entity. It covers a lineage that comprises of grand children, parents, grand parents to their ancestors. A family can also be used to refer to a children, mother and father. This is referred to as a nuclear family.
The family involves the concept of kinship ties. Generally, a family refers to those people who we love. A family contains a care giving component that may consist of a father, mother, and children. It may consist of a single parent and a child. It may be grand parents and grand children, a group of siblings or friends.
The family from my opinion is the base of the society. It is the unit that people come into the world and are nurtured and trained on how to fit into the society. The family is said to be the foundation of the society because people form as individuals from a family and become one group that is called the society. Although families are responsible for teaching individuals how to relate with others and co-exist peacefully in the society, they may also destroy an individual.
Some families especially nuclear families, teach individuals to be self dependant. This concept of individuality has made people to become selfish making it difficult to survive in the society.
A family is founded on the basis of love. Families exist as social hierarchies with a strong power that unites all the members of the family. A family means more than just being a member. Members of a family share something more than membership. In most cases they share blood ties. The sense of blood ties gives people a sense of belonging and togetherness.
Families are bound by certain factors. Unity is the first factor that families share. People who belong to the same family feel a sense of comfort when living an interacting with reach other. The family ensures that its members form a strong bond between and among themselves. Members of a family fell free to discuss pertinent issues that affect one of them. In case of problems, people usually turn to their families as a first resort for support and encouragement.
Families supply absolute fulfillment to their members. A family encourages intimacy, love, respect and trust. Individuals get warmth, tenderness and protection from their families. For example in the traditional African societies, they had extended families that comprised of grand parents, parents, brothers, sisters, children, aunties, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces. The older were responsible of offering guidance, food, shelter and protection to the young ones. Therefore, the family embraces close and mutual relationships between and among its members.
The concept of family means a wide range of relationships. However, there are certain aspects that are characteristic of them all. Love, unity, trust and a sense of belonging is the basis of a family. Therefore the family is a vital part of people's lives, whatever the meaning it creates.