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Family Studies and Research Approaches Essay

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Conventional perception of family includes several important elements. First of all, one can speak about the so-called nuclear household that consists of two parents a child or children. For a long time, this structure was regarded as the most widespread form of household. Furthermore, it is believed that families are supposed to perform several importance functions. For instance, one can speak about the socialization of children who learn how to integrate themselves into community through interactions with parents (Gillen & Hancock, 2006, p. 23). Furthermore, it is possible to speak about the economic role of households that act as the main consumers of goods in the society. Apart from that, families are supposed to ensure the emotional security of children (Oleson et al, 2010, p. 43). Some of conventional notions may not be applicable to modern parents. For example, the idea of nuclear family may not be applicable to single parents who often educate their children without external assistance. Nevertheless, some of the traditional concepts are quite applicable. In particular, close attention should be paid to the socializing role of parents who should promote the psychological development of children and their social skills. These are the main issues that should be considered.

It should be noted that different approaches to the study of family can throw light on different roles that it plays. For example, those studies that focus on psychological development of children can tell that a family is a powerful agent of socialization (Grace & Bowes, 2011). Additionally, one can mention statistical surveys that focus on employment patterns can tell about the economic functions of families (Darling & Turkki, 2009). Overall, the studies involving various households can increase people’s understanding about different functions that families may perform.

Researchers should focus on the roles of family, rather than its structure. Such an approach can tell scholars much more about the importance of families and the challenges that they have to overcome. More importantly, sociologists and educators should consider the impact of various external factors on families. There are several benefits of looking at this issue from this perspective. In this way, researchers can identify various factors that can influence the development of a child.

According to the Ecological Systems theory, a family exists in different forms of environment. For example, it is possible to mention legal, social, economic, religious, or political environments (Darling & Turkki, 2009, p. 16). The main advantage of this technique is that one can better understand the way in which families interact with private, public, or governmental organizations. Furthermore, Ecological Systems theory can be of great value to educators who need to know how the identity, values, and attitudes of children are formed.

Overall, one can argue that a family can be regarded as a part of an extremely complex social, economical, political, and legal system. Therefore, researchers should develop methods and theoretical models that can better describe different roles played by families.

Reference List

Darling, C., & Turkki, K. (2009). Global family concerns and the role of family life education: An ecosystemic analysis. Family Relations, 58 (2), 14-27.

Gillen, J., & Hancock, R. (2006). ‘A day in the life’: Exploring eating events involving two-year-old girls and their families in diverse communities. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 31 (4), 23-29.

Grace, R., & Bowes, J. (2011). Using an ecocultural theory to explore young children’s experiences of prior-to-school settings. Early Child Development and Care, 181 (1), 13-25.

Oleson, S. C., Macdonald, E., Raphael, B., & Butterworth, P. (2010). Children’s exposure to parental and familial adversities. Family Matters, 84 (5), 43-52.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Family Studies and Research Approaches." February 16, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/family-studies-and-research-approaches/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Family Studies and Research Approaches'. 16 February.

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