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Family: Perspectives

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Household and/ or Family?

A household is any single person or group of people who make up the people at a common residence and who share facilities or have a meal a day in that place. They may or may not be a family. They allow a label for when there is no family resident.

It is important to realize that some people live in destitution, without a home, living on the streets and in poverty, moving from shelter to shelter. They often seek an address in order to improve chances of getting work. They may need help from social services and other agencies.

There are four main types of families:

Nuclear family.

This is limited to two generations of a mother, father and child or children. It is what people often imagine a family to be, but it is often not the reality.

Extended family.

This is where generations are added on to the nuclear family. It can be extended horizontally to brothers and sisters or cousins. It can be extended vertically to include a grandparent or more, with three or even four generations.

Lone parent family.

Here there is one parent only and his or her children.

Reconstituted family.

Here we have social parents (raising the children) who may not be the biological parents for all or some of the children. There are a high number of reconstituted families due to separations, divorces and adoptions of children.

What do families do?

Families carry out important roles of providing physical (actual), emotional and economic support.

According to functionalists, the family plays a very important positive role in raising the next generation.

• Families reproduce and raise the next generation. Not only do they carry out this rather obvious point, but they show how to do it. They pass on and display a model of rearing children, through (often) a monogamous sexual relationship and techniques of child rearing. This model is passed on to the next generation and is seen as the way to do child rearing by others in society.

• Families nurture children into the values and norms of society. They transmit the culture of society and how to conform. It is said that family is the essential bedrock of society: if families are in harmony then society will be in harmony. This is called primary socialization because it is a crucial, early and continuing part of socialization for the child.



• Families give emotional and psychological support. They are safe places (when they work properly). One expects comfort, sympathy and support from other family members regarding the stresses of going to school, college and work, and through all the difficulties of ill health and life crises.

• Families offer structures of economic support. This can be physical support, such as shelter and food, but also allows for economic development, such as families offering each other work or money for businesses, as well as support for when times are hard.

 

Exercise 1

Find in the text English equivalents of the following words and word combinations:

Семейство (домочадцы); жить в нищете; приемная семья; развод; усыновление; производить на свет; показывать пример воспитания детей; приобщать к ценностям и нормам поведения в обществе; основа (фундамент) общества.

 

Exercise 2

Complete the sentences:

1.A household is any single person or group of people who …

2. Families carry out important roles of providing …

3. A nuclear family is limited to …

4. An extended familyis …

5. Families pass on and display a model of …

 

Exercise 3

Answer the questions:

1. Is there any difference between a household and a family?

2. What main types of families can you name?

3. What are the main functions of the family?

4. What kind of support do families give?

 

FAMILY LIFE

Marriage is a thing which only a rare person in his or her life avoids. True bachelors and spinsters make up only a small percent of the population; most single people are alone but not lonely.

Millions of others get married because of the fun of family life. And it is fun, if one takes it with a sense of humour.

There’s a lot of fun in falling in love with someone and chasing the prospective fiancee, which means dating and going out with the candidate. All the relatives (parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, stepmothers and stepfathers and all in-laws) meanwhile have the fun of criticizing your choice and giving advice. The trick here is not to listen to them but propose to your bride-to-be and somehow get her to accept your proposal. Then you may arrange the engagement and fix the day of the wedding.

What fun it is to get all those things, whose names start with the word wedding — dress, rings, cars, flowers, cakes, etc.! It’s great fun to pay for them.

It’s fun for the bride and the groom to escape from the guests and go on a honeymoon trip, especially if it is a wedding present from the parents. The guests remain with the fun of gossiping whether you married for love or for money.

Its fun to return back home with the idea that the person you are married to is somewhat different from the one you knew. But there is no time to think about it because you are newly-weds and you expect a baby.

There is no better fun for a husband than taking his wife to a maternity home alone and bringing her back with the twins or triplets.

And this is where the greatest fun starts: washing the new-born’s nappies and passing away sleepless nights, earning money to keep the family, taking children to kindergarten and later to school. By all means it’s fun to attend parent’s meetings and to learn that your children take after you and don’t do well at school.

The bigger your children grow, the more they resemble you outwardly and the less they display likeness with you inwardly. And you start grumbling at them and discussing with your old friends the problem of the generation gap; what fun!

And when at last you and your grey-haired spouse start thinking that your family life has calmed down, you haven’t divorced but preserved your union, the climax of your fun bursts out!

One of your dearest offsprings brings a long-legged blonde to your house and says that he wants to marry. And you think: Why do people ever get married?

 

Exercise 1

Find in the text English equivalents of the following words and word combinations:

Замужество; настоящий холостяк; незамужняя женщина; выйти замуж; влюбиться; искать будущую невесту; сделать предложение; назначить дату свадьбы; поехать в свадебное путешествие; выйти замуж по расчету; молодожены; ждать ребенка; отвезти жену в роддом; стирать пеленки новорожденных; проводить бессонные ночи; напоминать кого-либо внешне; проблема отцов и детей.

 

Exercise 2

Complete the following sentences:

1. … is a thing which only a rare person in his or her life avoids.

2. There’s a lot of fun in …with someone and chasing the prospective…

3. All the relatives … have the fun of criticizing your choice and giving advice.

4. The trick here is not to listen to them but propose to your … and somehow get her to accept your …

5. It’s fun for the … and the … to escape from the guests and go on a honeymoon trip.

6. There is no better fun for a … than taking his wife to a … alone and bringing her back with the … or … .

7. The bigger your children grow, the more they resemble you … and the less they display likeness with you …

8. One of your dearest … brings a long-legged blonde to your house and says that he wants to …

Exercise 3

Answer the questions:

1. Can people avoid marriage?

2. Why do people get married?

3. Who usually helps young people to make their choice?

4. How does the family life change with the appearance of children?

5. Do you agree that family life is real fun?

 

Discussion

Do yon agree or not? Comment on the following statements.

1. Everything has its beginning in the family.

2. Small children create small problems while the big ones bring big problems.

3. Every generation is different from the previous one.

4. Like father like son.

5. A good husband makes a good wife.

6. A tree is known by its fruit.

Role-Play


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