The Definition Of Family Essays Example
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Everyone, even orphans, are born into what is generally termed a family. Outside of the individual, a family is the most basic unit of human society. Families differ in a lot of ways, but what most connects them is that they are a unit of people living within a society who have either shared genes, or a social structure that connects them. As will be detailed in this exploration of what it means to be a family, a family is not one specific definition but a blanket that covers many different definition that all fit within the designation of “family.”
The most obvious connection of what a family are people who share the same genes who have a presence in each others lives. In the case of people who are related but don’t know each other, this is not a family. So sharing genes is not what constitutes a family. Parents who give up their children for an adoption to an orphanage are not a family with that child. Yet within the walls of an orphanage, the people and staff there could be considered a family. So family goes beyond genes.
Another observation of what constitutes family is that a family is people living in the same house. Indeed, many families do live within the same house. But this definition would exclude families who consider themselves to be a family but live hundreds or thousands of miles a part. There are what is called split families, in which some of the family lives in one house and another lives in another. A good example of this are Latin American families where part of the family has come to the United States seeking better employment opportunities and the rest of the family has stayed behind in their home country. The part of the family working in The United States stay connected through phone, Internet and mail and they often help the rest of the family financially since they are able to earn greater incomes in the US.
Since there are many types of families, what is most obvious about what constitutes a family is if they consider themselves a family. People can find the bond of family within their groups of friends. Sometimes a gang considers themselves a family. They say that “your family is the people you are stuck with” but sometimes families are made by choice. This is the case of when two people decide to be together and start a family. So a family both in definition and real terms is something that is created by people. People find family in their blood relatives, but they also find them in their friends and important people in their life.
The definition of family, like the definition of love, is a flexible one. Love is one important aspect of a family, but there can also be anger, avarice and hatred within a family. No one particular definition can define what a family is. There is a person’s immediate family, and people’s extended family. There are people who spend everyday with their family and there are those who only see them on important holidays. The point is not to get caught up on using one specific definition to define a family, but to understand the different characteristics that define what a family is.
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