Putting It Together: Marriage and Family

Summary

In this module, you learned about the marriage, family, and the role that families play in social development. The first and most important socializing agency a person encounters in life is the family. We speak of the family as if all families are the same, but this is not the case. One size does not fit all. If you ask someone who is in their family, they will be able to describe their family and its members, but if you ask ten different people, you may hear a variety of family configurations. The people in our families are the first ones who socialize us into our culture.

The family serves many purposes, but sociologists consider it the most important agent of socialization because it teaches children how to navigate their culture. Our families come in all shapes and sizes and may or may not include marriage. Some people divorce and remarry, adding to the variation of families. Where we once viewed the family as the safe haven from the world, sometimes the challenges we face in family life may make us glad to leave for work!

What you learned to do:

  • Define and describe marriage and family
  • Recognize variations in family life
  • Describe the social and interpersonal impacts of family challenges