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Diversity Analysis in Families Coursework

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Updated: May 29th, 2022


The primary unit of socialization is the family. Sociologists describe a family unit as a group of people bound to a common origin and kinship. Various forms of the family exist depending on the composition of the members. The core function of the family unit is procreation in the society together with instilling moral values in one’s children.

Depending on the composition, setting, and structure, families are clustered into different forms. Some of these forms include the ones described below.

Nuclear family

These are the immediate members of the family including a father, mother, and children only. This type of family is predominant in modern urban society.

Extended family

It consists of the members of the nuclear family and their blood relatives, such as cousins, nephews, etc. This form of family is majorly found in Africa and in rural areas. Extended family is perhaps one of the oldest family forms that exist nowadays.


Stepfamilies are those families that are usually created by a single parent. In such families, either one spouse or both of them have children from their earlier marriages.

Single-parent families

This is a form of family where one parent is missing or absent, which could be as a result of death, divorce, or separation of two spouses. The absent member could be either a male member or a female member of the family.

Conflict theory and extended families

The power of social relations focuses on the imbalance amongst the various groups or social classes in society. It posits that power is the core reason for all relationships in society. Proponents of the modern theory of conflict argue that the creation of all social structures is due to conflict of people with dissimilar and opposite interests. In my opinion, it may be inferred that families are created as a result of the consolidation of power and influence. In Africa, for example, where extended families are predominant, it is considered a sign of prestige and wealth.

Functional theory and extended families

Postulated by Durkheim, the theory tries to explain the stability of social order in terms of its functions. Functionalists explain the family unit in terms of the contribution it makes to the community. The members of each sociological unit have a significant role to play in it. According to functionalists, these sociological units are the keystones to stability in the entire society as each unit supports the entire society.

Extended families have more members than the other types of family; such families recognize a longer family tree and identify the family lineage in its entirety. Using the functionalists’ view, it is, therefore, necessary to point out that such a family seems much more stable and united because of the shared responsibilities. The functionalists, in essence, pinpoint that the society assists each other through various means; it is my opinion that the extended families offer a lot more support to each other as compared to other family forms.

Sociologists depict the family as the basic unit of the socialization process (Burr, 1973, p. 213 and 214). The family imparts accepted moral values and virtues in the members; members of the family enhance this socialization process. Basing my judgment on this argument, it is important to emphasize that extended families are of more importance for society compared to the other forms of families.


Burr, W.R. (1973). Theory construction and the sociology of the family. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

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