Marriage and family

Introduction

It is universally acknowledged that marriage and family are essential structures in society. The connection between these two institutions is very complex. It used to be common thinking that marriages are what create a family, and that families are the basis of society. There is no universal definition of marriage and family, but many scientists explain that marriage is a legally recognized social contract between two people and implying a permanence of the union. A family, therefore, is considered to be a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit.

Forms of marriages

In many countries and cultures around the world, there are different forms of marriage. The most common form of marriage is monogamy. The definition of this form is when someone is married to only one person at any one time. The other forms of marriage are illegal and socially unacceptable in some parts of the world, but in some countries, they are legal; for instance, in some parts of Asia and Africa, bigamy and polygamy (polygyny and polyandry) are legal. Bigamy refers to a person being married to two persons at the same time. Polygamy refers someone being married to more than two persons at the same time. Moreover, polygyny refers to a man being married to more than one woman at the same time and polyandry refers to a woman being married to more than one man at the same time.

Stages of marriage and family life cycle

The concept of marriage and family has changed in many areas during the previous decades.  The modern marriage has seven elementary stages.

  1. Marriage family, without children
  2. Procreation family with children ages 0 to 2.5
  3. Preschooler family with children ages 2.5 to 6
  4. School-age family with children ages 6–13
  5. Teenage family with children ages 13–20
  6. Launching family with children begin to leave home
  7. Empty nest family with adult children have left home

 

From another perspective, the stages of the family life cycle are:

  • Independence;
  • Coupling or marriage;
  • Parenting: babies through adolescents;
  • Launching adult children;
  • Retirement or senior years.

Not every man goes through all these phases. It depends on the individual and his life style.

 Additionally, families can be grouped in many different ways. Nowadays, there is a family structure known as the nuclear family, where married parents and their children are the nucleus of a group. Recent studies, however, have shown that the number of nuclear families where parents are not married is rising. In some cultures and countries, such as India, Turkey, etc., extended family is a common thing. This type of family may include aunts, uncles, and cousins living in the same home. Single-parent households are also on the rise. In addition, stepparents are an additional family element in two-parent homes. Moreover, cohabitation refers to a man and woman living together as man and wife without being married. Same-sex marriages are also legal in many countries of the world.

 

Reference:

Jayson, Sharon. 2008. “Census Reports More Unmarried Couples Living Together.” USA Today, July 28. Retrieved February 12, 2012

Altman, Irwin and Joseph Ginat. 1996. Polygamous Families in Contemporary Society. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Bauman, Zymunt. 2000. Liquid Modernity. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. Retrieved Sept 2014

Marriage and family

Introduction

It is universally acknowledged that marriage and family are essential structures in society. The connection between these two institutions is very complex. It used to be common thinking that marriages are what create a family, and that families are the basis of society. There is no universal definition of marriage and family, but many scientists explain that marriage is a legally recognized social contract between two people and implying a permanence of the union. A family, therefore, is considered to be a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit.

Forms of marriages

In many countries and cultures around the world, there are different forms of marriage. The most common form of marriage is monogamy. The definition of this form is when someone is married to only one person at any one time. The other forms of marriage are illegal and socially unacceptable in some parts of the world, but in some countries, they are legal; for instance, in some parts of Asia and Africa, bigamy and polygamy (polygyny and polyandry) are legal. Bigamy refers to a person being married to two persons at the same time. Polygamy refers someone being married to more than two persons at the same time. Moreover, polygyny refers to a man being married to more than one woman at the same time and polyandry refers to a woman being married to more than one man at the same time.

Stages of marriage and family life cycle

The concept of marriage and family has changed in many areas during the previous decades.  The modern marriage has seven elementary stages.

  1. Marriage family, without children
  2. Procreation family with children ages 0 to 2.5
  3. Preschooler family with children ages 2.5 to 6
  4. School-age family with children ages 6–13
  5. Teenage family with children ages 13–20
  6. Launching family with children begin to leave home
  7. Empty nest family with adult children have left home

 

From another perspective, the stages of the family life cycle are:

  • Independence;
  • Coupling or marriage;
  • Parenting: babies through adolescents;
  • Launching adult children;
  • Retirement or senior years.

Not every man goes through all these phases. It depends on the individual and his life style.

 Additionally, families can be grouped in many different ways. Nowadays, there is a family structure known as the nuclear family, where married parents and their children are the nucleus of a group. Recent studies, however, have shown that the number of nuclear families where parents are not married is rising. In some cultures and countries, such as India, Turkey, etc., extended family is a common thing. This type of family may include aunts, uncles, and cousins living in the same home. Single-parent households are also on the rise. In addition, stepparents are an additional family element in two-parent homes. Moreover, cohabitation refers to a man and woman living together as man and wife without being married. Same-sex marriages are also legal in many countries of the world.

 

Reference:

Jayson, Sharon. 2008. “Census Reports More Unmarried Couples Living Together.” USA Today, July 28. Retrieved February 12, 2012

Altman, Irwin and Joseph Ginat. 1996. Polygamous Families in Contemporary Society. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Bauman, Zymunt. 2000. Liquid Modernity. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. Retrieved Sept 2014

 

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