What is the Sociology of Family?

The Sociology of Family is the study of the different types of families. It investigates how a person enters each and how this can affect society. 

A family is defined as a group of two or more people who are related -- and consider themselves as such -- by blood, marriage or adoption.

When studying families, sociologists like to look at demographics, social class, ideology, domain, and interaction.  They research these areas to learn why certain beliefs and/or lifestyles, for instance, are more prevalent in certain areas (or societies) over others.

The majority of the time, sociologists will use the schools of sociology to study this sub-field. Here are what each school of thought believes:

If you don't remember or don't know the 4 paradigms of sociology, read this article before continuing on.

According to functionalism, families (or marriage) are a function, which socializes, regulates sexual activity, and offers emotional and material security.

Conflict theory, on the other hand, views families (or marriage) as an element, which promotes inequality through inheritance, patriarchy, and homogamy (people of same ethnic backgrounds marrying each other).

Symbolic interactionism views families as an intimate arrangement where people go out to find appropriate mates, and then go through the process of family, such as sharing work and responsibilities, together.

And that's what the sociology of the family is. It studies the types of family and how each affects society. It also looks at how society can affect and cause a certain type of family to be more dominant than the others.

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