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Lecture 1

FNF 100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Family 13, Modern History, Signify


Department
Family Studies
Course Code
FNF 100
Professor
Dan Mahoney
Lecture
1

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What is a Family?
How family life gets articulated is:
Political (how they should be defined)
Ideological (beliefs and ideas)
Cultural
No Universal Definition
There is no one universal definition of family that fits the reality of all cultural
groups and historical periods
Within any society at any one time, there are always several types of families
These types of families are defined by their historical context, and shaped by the
articulation of the economic, political and cultural forces and conflicts of their time
- ex: WW1 vs. post war
“Differences in family functioning and well-being across family types tend to be small,
whereas the difference within family types tend to be large.”
(Allen, Fine and Demo, 2000)
- There are different types of diverse family but they all function the same way/
functions... the players are different but the outcomes are not
Family Diversity Definition…
“Family is characterized by two or more persons related by birth, marriage, adoption or
choice…Families are further defined by socio-emotional ties and enduring
responsibilities, particularly in terms of one or more members’ dependence on others for
support and nurturance…”
(Allen, Fine & Demo, 2000)
-choice: you making decisions about who you want to spend time with… you get
to choose who you surround yourself with
-we still want to be nurtured, supported.. this is why people come together and
stay together
Different Family Types:
There are different types of families who use a multitude of ways to meet their
needs:
Reproduction
Cohabitation ( live together without being married)
Economic cooperation ( it’s cheaper to live with more people)
Nurturance, affection and protection (this is what brings people together)
Meaning (marriage, why bother? Symbolic and connect to social-emotional ties
and support when things get tough)
Differences Within and Between Families
Family diversity is also about characterizing the variability within and among
families:
Families have many different needs, and different ways of meeting those
needs
Within families, individuals and relationships have different levels of protection,
privileges, and responsibilities
Definitions of Family
1
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