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What is a Family Meaning and Definition of Family

Updated on December 23, 2012

The family a social institution is the most fundamental of all social groups and it is universal in its distribution from time immemorial. It is fundamental and persistent social group, a basic social institution at the very care of society. The values institutionalized in the family have long been regarded as important enough to warrant strong measures against any behaviour that violated them. Not only has the family been defined as fundamental to the existence of society, but it has been viewed as a source of morality and decent content. It has also been defined as a primary force for controlling behaviour and civilizing the human animal.

Definition of Family

Family is a group defined by sex relationship sufficiently puire and enduring to provide for the procreation and upbringing of children - Maciver

Family is a group of persons where relations to one another one based upon consanginity and who are therefore kin to one another - Kingsley Davis

Family is a more or less durable association of husband and wife with or without children or of a man or women alone with children - Nikoff

Family is a group of persons by the ties of marriage, blood or adoption, constituting a single household, interacting and intercommunicating with each other in their respective social roles of husband and wife mother and father, son and daughter brother and sister creating a common culture. - Burgess and Lacke

Family is a group based on martial relations, right, and duties of parenthood, common habitation and reciprocal , relations between parents and children. - Robert H. Lowie

Family is a group that involves marriage, rights and duties of parents, common residence for parents and children and reciprocal relations between parents and children. - Ralph Linton

The family is a group defined by a sex relationship sufficiently precise and enduring to provide for the procreation and upbringing of children. It may include collateral or subsidiary relationship, but it is constituted by the living together of mates forming with their offspring a distinctive unity. This unit has certain common characteristics everywhere in human society. The following are the five significant characteristics seen essential to the very nature of the family that may be met in extremely a ways.

  • A mating relationship
  • A form of marriage or other institutional arrangement in accordance with which the mating relation is established and maintained.
  • A system of nomenclature, involving also a mode of reckoning descent.
  • Some economic provision shared by the members of the group but having especial reference to the economic needs associated with child bearing a child rearing and generally,
  • A common habitation, home or household.


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      jer 2 years ago

      nice! family is a basic need of human being.

      why it is important to have a family member?(Y)

    • profile image

      umesh 3 years ago


    • profile image

      Amanpreet Kaur 3 years ago

      family is a basic need of human .Without family we are incomplete

    • profile image

      oluwabunmi 3 years ago

      nice materials but no references.

    • profile image

      eniola kolawole 3 years ago

      family is really a great thing because there is always peace and love even if there is any disagreement it is always settle one and for all

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Family is so important life shouldn't be taken for granted, spend more time with family and learn of their values too.

    • Iintertrans profile image

      Iintertrans 6 years ago from New Delhi

      Dear Dilip,

      I really liked this hub of your even thought its a topic where every one has their own ideas. especially I liked those boldened quotes written by maciver and others.

      What I mean if I think about family is that a feeling of comfortableness, happiness, safeness, and lots of emotional attachments rather than all physiological things we can do officially like mating and all.

      I am glad to vote this as interesting.

      For Iintertrans

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Hi a great hub and I now look forward to reading many more by you.

      I throroughly enjoyed this one and I vote up.

      Take care


    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 6 years ago from India

      Thank you mckbirdbks for the comment :)

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello, just stopped by for a read this morning. Fine description of the traditional family.