Family Definition ; family life- cycle


Family Definition

Family means a number of different things to different individuals- the family may cross a number of generations, change, as a result, of certain changes in life events such as remarriage, divorce and children relocating from their parental homes, and might even span several households. In most cases, people find it easier to define a family by not how it looks or how it is structured but by its roles and functions- supporting, loving, caring and protecting those in a family. In defining a family, it is essential to realize that children and marriage are not prerequisites for the formation of a family. In the past few years, there has been a development to a boost in the number of childless couples and smaller families, as well as, lone- person families or households. It is also critical to remember that extended families might cross or span more than one household and that individuals living by themselves are not necessarily living without families (Forbes 2-34).

family life- cycle

More and more individuals are forming more than one family across their lifetime, because of the greater rates of re-partnering and separation. A number of types of families, and families at certain points in the family life- cycle may have different needs, strength and vulnerabilities. Some of these include one- parent families, jobless families, indigenous families, families from different, diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, families with responsibilities in caring, and families in remote and rural societies.  It is clear from the points noted here that a family is a complex unit that has no one specific definition (Forbes 2-34). The purpose of this article, consequently, is to draw attention to the different kinds of definitions of the family unit in regards to its functions, what it is, what it is not and according to how authorities define it. In addition to this, the paper will benefit exceedingly from examples derived from the book Journey by Sonia Nazario, which is a story about a certain family that will serve as an excellent example of what a family is and of different kinds of families.

Family Structure

Family can be defined as the most fundamental unit. It represents individuals living together by ties of blood, marriage or adaption, therefore, representing a single household. According to sociology, the family unit as a key role of reproducing and expanding the society, both socially and biologically. There are numerous different structure of families based on the associations that exist between parents and children. There are different kinds of families present which are determined by who makes up the family. There are those families that only consist of the father and children; others consist of the mother and children. Other families consist of a mother, her children and other people who are in most cases derived from the mother’s family. Other families consist of one or more mothers living together with their children, with other people and their spouses (Fine 65- 79). In this case, an example is a family described in the book the Journey, which at first was composed of the mother and her two children and members of Lourdes’ family.

Relationships that exist between a family, and those that determine the type of the family, are those mainly between parents and children and they are different from culture to culture. One of the most common family types is the nuclear family. This family type is composed of the marital couple living with their children separate from other individuals. The joint family usually is the extension of the nuclear family and exists when children of one sex stay at their parental home. In such a case, the children bring along their spouses to live with them in their parental home even after marriage (Fine 65- 79).

These are the only handful of cases of the numerous types of families. Other kinds of families include only child families, large families, single parent families, blended families, gay and lesbian parent families, grandparent families and adoptive families. Today’s definition of family has changed tremendously from what it was years ago. As it follows, many couples now are choosing to have only one child. In these types of families, one will find a couple with only one child and wishing not to have any more. Traditionally in some cultures, this would have been frowned on. Even today, there are some cultures, which still encourage families to have more than one child. In their definition, therefore, a couple with only one child is not a family (Fine 65- 79).

More Family Types

Another family type present today is a large family. A large family is the one that has parents having numerous children. Such couples might end up having more than five children. Some cultures encourage for these types of families, while others, especially those in developing countries discourage such families especially because of economic concerns. Another very common type of family today is a single parent family. In such families, one parent, either the mother or the father lives with the children by himself or herself. This situation is becoming extremely common mainly because of high divorce rates and at times because of deaths and irresponsible parenthood (Fine 65- 79).

An excellent example of a single parent family is the one described in the book the Journey. The story is about events that a certain family experiences after it becomes a single parent family. The young family is from Honduras and it consists of the mother, Lourdes and her two children Enrique and Belky. The family became a single parent, as a result, of separation. Lourdes separated from her husband and since then she found it hard to meet her family’s needs. As a result, of this, she had to depart from her children to leave for the US to search for work and funds to nourish and provide clothes for her children. There are numerous examples of single-parent families like Lourdes, which happen because of separations. In most cases, especially in Hispanic families, these families take other forms soon after they become single parents. For example, Lourdes’ family had to change to another type, where she lived by herself in the US and her children lived with relatives back home. After Enrique moved to the US, the family structure changed once more. He moved in to live with her and later his girlfriend and daughter joined him. The family changed to an extended family, including Maria Isabel and her daughter (Nazario 12- 56).

Modern society views the family

The modern society views the family as a haven from the chaotic world, supplying individuals with complete satisfaction and fulfilment. To many, a family is a place of love, intimacy and love where people may hide from the competition of numerous forces in operation in the society. In the past, the view of the family was also as positive. The family was a repository of tenderness and warmth that stood in opposition to the aggressive and competitive forces of the commerce world. The role of the family was to safeguard individuals from the world. However, the image of the family is deteriorating each day as different ideas of the fulfilment of the family take shape, today; the family unit is not as much protection as it is compensatory. It provides individuals with what is vital but lacks other social arrangements (Forbes 2-34).

One can conclude the traditional families were superior to those seen today, and families might have been happier and stable those periods as they did not have the need contend with challenges of divorce and illegitimate children. One can say that Lourdes’ family could have been different in the past because of cases of separation were unheard of. She would have stayed with her companion and she would not see the need to break up her family to provide for the children. The family types addressed above to conform to the concepts and ideologies of what makes a family according to the tradition of a certain society. However, there are those families that go against these concepts. For instance, cases of gay and lesbian marriage are emerging in today’s society. In the past few years, no one would have called such partnerships families, but today in certain cultures, they are allowed to adopt children and live as a family (Zinn and Eitzen 3- 7).


The family as a unit of socialization is the object of criticism and analysis by a number of faculties and authorities including anthropologists and other scientists, religions, societies and even governments. Most of this analysis is based on sexual relations among members of a family and these faculties regulate the meaning and the appropriateness of a family by regulating rules that concern incest, sexual orientation, among others (Zinn and Eitzen 3- 7). As it is clear from the discussions above, the family has numerous definitions and meanings to different individuals. One only has to point out where his or her family is relevant to characterize and explain the denotation of the term family.

Work cited

Fine, A. Families in the United States: Their Status and Future Prospects. New York: Wiley.

Forbes, Scott. A Natural History of Families. Princeton University Press, 2005. Print.

Nazario, Sonia. Enrique’s Journey. New York: Random House, 2008. Print.

Zinn, Baca and Eitzen, Stanley.  Diversity in families (6 ed.). New York: Allyn and Bacon, 2002.            Print. p. 7


Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment  Help Service Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4.      Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essaysmile and order essay PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!

order custom essay paper