1. Classic definitions of family as comprising husband, wife, and children
have been expanded to include same- sex and common- law couples, lone
parents, and childless couples in recognition of the many forms that families
2. Common approaches to family often refer to the nuclear family ( an adult
male, adult female, and their offspring) and extended families ( multiple
generations of adults living with their spouses and children).
3. Another way to distinguish families is to identify the family of orientation
( the family in which you were born) and the family of procreation ( the
family that you have created through procreation or adoption).
4. In the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada used two definitions of family for
data- gathering purposes: the “census family” and the “ economic family.”
5. The census family is defined as a married couple (with or without children
of either or both spouses), a couple living common- law (with or without
children of either or both partners), or a lone parent of any marital status,
with at least one child living in the same dwelling. A couple may be of the
opposite or same sex. Children in a census family include grandchildren
living with their grandparent(s) but with no parents present.
6. The economic family is defined as a group of two or more persons who live
in the same dwelling and are related to each other by blood, marriage,
common- law, or adoption. A couple may be of opposite or same sex. Foster
children are included.
7. Functionalists state that families accomplish certain social functions, such
as providing individuals with love, and emotional and economic support.
Families also maintain and stabilize society by regulating reproduction and
8. Conflict theorists argue that inequalities inherent in the larger society
exist in families. Further, families are organi