Definitions of family shape government social policy and inform the decisions make about how to live our lives. The specific definitions of family have often excluded many families, which can result in being denied government services. Compassionate care program (2004) (if you want to support someone who is dying) Your child or the child of your spouse or common-law partner (of at least one year) Now changed policies to be less exlusive. Excluding interracial relationships in the past, same-sex marriage. Not only social policy is important, but the symbolism as well. Families are socially constructed and change over time and place. Not only roles, but activities and work families accomplish. Social reproduction: the caring work involved in families; physical, emotional, mental -> grocery shopping, planning grocery list, worried about nutrition. Inclusive definitions emphasizing social reproduction (caring work) Heterosexual nuclear family; sexual division of labour. Strict separation of labour between breadmaker and homemaker. Gender division of labour holds families together.