In society, the family is the most significant primary group. It is the most basic and fundamental type of society. A family is a domestic group of people, or a group of families, who are usually linked by birth or marriage, or by similar legal relationships such as domestic partnership, adoption, surname, and in some circumstances ownership. “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State,” reads Article 16(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The term “family” comes from the Latin word “familia.” A family is a group of people who are related by blood or affinity. In simple terms, a family is a close-knit domestic group of people who are linked by blood, sexual mating, or legal relationships. It is the smallest and most basic social unit in any culture, as well as the most important primary group.

Families exist to ensure the well-being of their members as well as the well-being of society as a whole. Families should provide stability, structure, and safety as members get older and become more involved in the community. Children gain socialisation for life outside the home in most countries, and families serve as the primary source of bonding, caring, and socialisation for humans. Furthermore, as the basic unit for addressing the basic requirements of its members, it gives a feeling of boundaries for executing activities in a safe environment, idealises the development of a person into a functional adult, transmits culture, and assures humankind’s continuity with knowledge precedents.

Forms of Family

There are seven forms of family.

  • Family of Orientation: A person’s orientation family is the family in which he or she is born.
  • Family of Procreation: A person’s procreation family is the family with whom he or she settles after marriage.
  • Monogamous Family:

This family is centred on monogamous marriages and comprises of one husband and wife, as well as children.

  • Polygynous Family:

A family with one husband and multiple wives, as well as all of the children born to each of the women or adopted by each of them.

  • Polyandrous Family:

A family consisting of one wife and multiple husbands, as well as the children born or adopted to each of them.

  • Family of Matrilocal Residence:

When a couple lives in the home of the woman, the family is referred to as a matrilocal residence family.

  • Family of Patrilocal Residence:

When a family lives in the home of their husband, they are referred to as a patrilocal residence family.

  • Family of Changing Residence:

A family of changing residence is one that lives at the husband’s house for a while, then moves to the wife’s house, stays there for a while, and then moves back to the husband’s parents or starts living somewhere else.

  • Matrilineal Family:

A matrilineal family is one whose ancestry or descent can be traced through the female line, or through the mother’s side.

  • Patrilineal Family:

A patrilineal family is one in which the authority is passed through the male line and descent is traced through the male line or the father’s side.

  • Matriarchal Family:

In matrilineal societies, matriarchal families are common. A woman is the head of the family in these families, and she has authority. Property is passed down through the female line, with only daughters inheriting it.

  • Patriarchal Family:

Most patrilineal societies are patriarchal societies, hence patriarchal households can be found all across the world. The head of the family in patriarchal homes is a man, and he has authority.

  • Conjugal Family:

The conjugal family is made up of adults who have a sexual relationship with one another. It refers to a family arrangement consisting of couples and their children who are dependent on them. The importance of the marriage bond between couples is emphasised. The phrase “conjugal family” is now used to refer to couples who have had a long-term sexual connection but are not married.

  • Consanguine Family:

A consanguine family is made up of members among whom a blood relation exists, or those who are consanguine kin, i.e., a family consisting of parents and children, or siblings.

  • Nuclear Family:

A nuclear family is a small group made up of a husband, wife, and natural or adoptive children. It is more or less a self-contained unit that is not governed by adults or family elders. There are only two generations in it. The nuclear family is the most frequent type of family in all modern civilizations.

  • Joint Family:

 A joint family is made up of three generations who live under the same roof and share the same kitchen and financial resources. It’s a family made up of three nuclear families who share a home.

Functions of Family

A family’s primary duties as a social group and an important social institution are as follows:

• A family is a unit in which procreation occurs.

• In the family, the reproductive process is institutionalised, regulated, and managed.

• Family members contribute to the survival of the human species and race.

• Family provides an individual with an identity; • Family is an important socialisation and cultural transmission agency; and • Family provides an individual with an identity.

• For its members, family is a significant source of emotional and psychological strength.

• Family provides a home for an individual and fosters long-term social bonds.

• A family provides for the economic needs of its members by establishing a division of labour in which all members have responsibilities and obligations to one another.

• Children’s education has historically been the responsibility of the family.


Arguments about defining the family are frequently functionally dependent on one’s social interaction paradigm and goal in defining the term. As a result, depending on the reason for which the term is being employed, the family becomes whatever the individual or researcher thinks it to be.

Despite the complexities of defining family, there is a strong emergent international theme based on data among the scientific community. Although there are many variations in family structure and process, it is important to recognize the prevailing frameworks through which civilizations define family. In contrast to the reactionary themes of the 1960s and 1970s about the “traditional family,” more modern writing has shown an openness to family diversity. We are becoming more conscious of dominant family definitions that recognize its wide variation as a result of increased international networks, notably in the research community.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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