What is family definition and meaning

Family… How often that word occurs in everyday conversations. People are constantly discussing the family in all its manifestations. However, not everyone is confident enough to give a definition of this concept. It is necessary to understand what a family.

what a family

The history of the concept family

This concept in the Russian language came from the Slavic and Indo-European terms. Seima meant closeness from the point of view of the territory. A similar term also existed in the ancient language, where it designated the family as all the people that live together. In this regard, a part of such a community was, the servants.

The study of this aspect is actively engaged in the nineteenth century. In particular, their works did Johann Jakob Bachofen, a Swiss scientist, Lewis Henry Morgan, a sociologist from America, and Maxim Kovalevsky, a Russian historian. They determined that the family factor had a huge influence on the course of social evolution.

Type families varies in different countries, it has varied and in the same area over time. For example, before the Second world war in most English speaking countries there was the Patriarchal family, that is the main thought of the man. Later, the focus shifted to children – all in the family was done for them. Similar, to some extent, persists to date, however, the most common type is called a conjugal family. The difference is that the couple are trying to be equal.

Family as a social institution

The definition of what a family can be very different, depending on which point of view to consider the issue. In the broadest sense, the word means a social institution or the basic unit of society.

With few official point of view, the concept of family has a number of characteristics. It is necessary to consider them at least in order to understand what the cell companies can be perceived in completely different ways.

The signs of this social institution are:

  • Voluntary marriage of a man and a woman, with the further joint life.
  • A joint life family members.
  • The desire to procreate and raise children.

It is obvious that such signs is extremely doubtful, at least for modern society. For anybody not a secret that in some countries gay marriages are allowed, and this is contrary to the first paragraph. Often people live together for life, having no stamp in the passport. Family members may live separately from each other, that is to have totally separate life, but they will always be family. Many also did not hurry to have children.

what family means

What is a family?

So what is a family? Many people try to give different interpretations of the concept. For example, one definition is that this community, consisting of marriage marriage and their children. Such a community must be linked spiritually, and they should have moral responsibility. A family can be kinship, adoption, and any other aspects that do not contradict the law and morals.

You can find other definitions. For example, from the point of view of one prominent sociologist, a family can be any group of people with kinship, when adults watch the kids. This interpretation does not exclude the necessity of marriage and common life.

His definition of the word is from a legal point of view. There are complete and incomplete family, depending on the number of parents.


Family from the point of view of psychology

This word can give a different definition, which will be needed in legal proceedings and writings on sociology. However, for the common man the answer to the question of what it means to the family, may be quite different.

There is a psychological approach to the issue, supported by different specialists, but it has its own criteria.

  • A group of people can be considered a family if its members have a spiritual and emotional intimacy.
  • Criterion is considered to be the limitations in space and time.
  • Relationships between family members should be sufficiently closed to maintain interpersonal intimacy.
  • These relations should be maintained for a long time. The members of the family feel responsibility for each other and have certain moral obligations.

To understand what family means and why it is needed, can the interpretation given in the tenets of Marxism. It says that the family allows you to see the opposites and contradictions that filled society. It allows you to prepare for adult life, to know that somewhere there is a place where you belong and love, to know that there is always, where and to whom to return.

close people

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