Family is the term used to define a group of people who are related in different ways and make up a basic social unit in society. Families share interests, common projects, sometimes blood ties, residence, among other types of social relationship dynamics that forge their relationship and strengthen it over time, either by tradition or by identification with shared experiences. For example: a couple that gets married and adopts a child go on to form a family.
The concept of family is being modified according to the customs and forms of social organization of civilizations, and in many cases in these there are different ways of perceiving it. For example: in some countries where polygamy is allowed, a family may consist of one man and several wives, something that is not allowed in most Western countries.
Some of the concepts of family that have been established throughout history are:
- According to the World Health Organization: For the WHO, a family is the group of individuals with a shared home and a relationship of kinship either by blood, by marriage or by adoption.
- According to Emile Durkheim: For the French sociologist, the concept of family lies in the construction of a domestic morality, which is why it is a fundamental social institution for the development and progress of communities that refers to daily practices and the formation of new individuals.
- According to Ezekiel Ander-Egg: For the Argentine philosopher, a family is formed after an extended historical process and comprises both the people of the present family nucleus and the ascendants, descendants and other subjects that are related with a shared genetic trunk.
- According to Maria Masdeu: For the Spanish writer, the concept of the family has evolved in recent decades and implies other positions that go beyond the definition of the traditional family, expanding its characteristics and forms of organization. The modern family, for Masdeu, is tolerant, flexible, diverse, technological and, in general, urban in its most current conception.
Types of Family
Types of FamilyAccording to traditions, culture and the new ways of relating that technology brings, personal relationships and the concept of well-being have been transformed to give way to forms of coexistence and filial ties of very diverse constitution.
These are the types of family that exist today:
- Nuclear family: It is one of the concepts that encompasses the traditional and conservative family configuration, which is the parents and one, two or more children. It is the basic family unit, since its members usually live in the same residence until the children are adults and they are going to form a new family. This type of family is the most historical. For example: a newly married couple with a school-age child living together.
- Extended or traditional family: It is the consideration of several nuclear families that, due to the relationship between their members, make up a more complex social group, which includes hierarchies such as cousins, uncles, grandparents and members added by marriage ties. For example: a married couple who come together to celebrate with their children, their partners and their grandchildren.
- Single parent family: It is that made up of a single parent, either mother or father, who can have one or more children and is responsible and the head of the family. For example: a man who has divorced his wife and is going to live in another city with his three children.
- Homoparental family: It is one made up of two parents of the same sex who share children. In this type of family there are also diversifications, such as those that decide to adopt their children, or a couple that receives a sperm or egg donation to combine it with the genetic material of one of the parents. For example: a gay man who has a biological son and marries his current partner who decides to adopt the little one.
- Family of separated parents: It is the one whose parents decide to separate their marriage bond, but continue to be part of the upbringing of their children under the agreements they have reached. Legally, there are mechanisms for, in the event that a couple decides to divorce, the children have protection from both parents in aspects such as economic or custody and care. For example: a couple that separates and decides that their son spends a month in the house of each of his parents.
- Blended family: It is one in which one or both people that make up the couple have children separately, from previous relationships, and decide to live together, thus generating bonds such as stepparents and stepchildren. For example: a man who lives with his two children and marries a new partner who comes to live with them.
- Host family: It is one in which a family framework (a couple, a nuclear family, a single person) keeps one or more minors under their care to give them a healthy family environment while they are under the guardianship of the State, generally waiting for a legal adoption. In this type of family, the fostering of minors can be urgent, temporary, partial, specialized or permanent, and they can continue to maintain a link with their biological parents or known relatives while their situation is resolved. For example: a couple who receive a child in their home for their care because his parents have gone to jail.
- Family without children by choice: It is that family made up of a couple who decides not to have children. It is a decision that both people make freely and that shows the desire to share life together without having children for whatever reason. Increasingly, many couples decide not to procreate, considering that it is a decision that does not determine the degree of fulfillment of a human being, also due to specific issues such as time and profession, or for other reasons such as overpopulation or the threat of nature due to factors such as climate change. For example: a married couple who live traveling for their work and reach an agreement not to have children in order to continue growing in the companies where they work.
- Adoptive family: It is the one in which a formed family decides to accept in its configuration a person who was not part of the structure before. The most common adoptive families are those in which a subject or a couple decides to process the adoption of a minor, however, another case that can occur is that of an individual who frequents a family and feels it as their own, being mutual. the feeling. For example: a couple who decide to travel to China to adopt a minor through an adoption agency.
- Transnational family: It is one in which its members are in different countries. This type of family is increasingly common due to migration processes and the consequences that have come from technology and information technology, as new couples are formed with a great distance between them and at one point they decide that one of the two must leave their country to live with the other; Families living at a distance for various reasons could also be considered. For example: a father who lives in the United States for work reasons while his wife and children reside in Spain.
- Polyparental family: It is a concept that was born from the idea of polyamory, in which more than two people decide to unite their lives and commit themselves to a permanent love bond, moving away from monogamy. So, the polyparental family has more than two people in the roles of family authorities. One can also mention those in which it is decided that a child will have different parents, such as the case of a homosexual couple who have their child using the ovum and womb of a friend and she will also participate as an active subject in raising the baby. For example: a marriage of three subjects who adopt a child.
- Chosen family: It is a popular concept that refers to the configuration of a close social circle made up of people chosen or who have shown great affection and closeness over the years. In general, the group of friends with whom intimate ties are shared that are strengthened over time is called the chosen family. For example: a group of five friends who live very close and spend a lot of time together for decades.
Examples of Family Types
- A divorced mother and her daughter make up a single parent family.
- Three sisters with their children, their partners and their parents make up an extended family.
- Two friends who have lived together as roommates for thirteen years are a type of chosen family.
- A married couple who have a daughter in common and all live in the same house is a nuclear family.
- A couple made up of two women who have two children make up a homoparental family.
- Two women who each have daughters from a previous marriage are a stepfamily.
- A couple who decide to end the relationship and share custody of their four children, and divide time and expenses are a family of separated parents.
- A couple who fall in love at an advanced age and move in together are a family without children.
- Two parents who live in Mexico and send their son to study at a boarding school in Switzerland make up a transnational family.
- A woman who adopts a nephew because her brother cannot take care of her becomes an adoptive family.