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Contemporary perspectives of family in society sociology essay

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DEFINING THE FAMILY: A family is a social unit made up of father, mother brothers and sisters. All these members play a very important role while living together, sharing problems with one another at the time of help. Love is the most important element in a family among these members without love and happiness these pillars of family has not the ability to stay longer and be with one another for a longer period of time.


In order for the family to meet a child’s psychological needs, its members must be nurturing, convey mutual respect, provide for intimacy, and engage in bonding and attachment. The family also socializes the child, guiding the child to be members of the society beyond the family. The family conveys religious and cultural beliefs and traditions to the next generation. The family is the child’s source of economic resources, which meet the child’s various physical needs for food, shelter, and clothing. Then, too, the family sees to it that the child receives health and dental care. The family also teaches morals and values to a child.


Family is the most important unit of society and plays an essential role in fulfilling the emotional and physical needs of individuals, which is required for achieving economic and social development”. But for a family to succeed it doesn’t necessarily need to be a “ nuclear” family, it needs support in caring for its family. If a society is at war, is suffering severe weather such as droughts, is made up of people living primarily in poverty, is a society with a high illiteracy rate, or is experiencing overwhelming negative health conditions such as AIDS, of course any family will be negatively affected.


Work, Family, and Religion in Contemporary Society.

By: Nason-Clark, Nancy

Publication: Sociology of Religion

Date: Sunday, September 22 1996

In the opening essay to Work, family, and religion in contemporary society, authors Ammerman and Roof claim that “ the days when business could ignore families and churches could take them for granted are over.” Each of the contributors to this volume grapple with some facet of the dilemma facing

Religion and religious organizations as they attempt to minister effectively to diversified and changing family forms. The book is organized into two sections: assessing the links among religion, family, and work, and exploring emerging patterns for responding to the contemporary needs of individuals and family units.

Essays by Penny Long Marler, and Wade Clark Roof and Lyn Gesch, examine the link between traditional family forms and religious institutions. Marler demonstrates how mainline churches have been able to keep their “ market share” of both husband-wife-plus-children families and the elderly, but have lost ground with younger singles and those in nontraditional households. Interestingly, she examines the process by which church programs for children and the youth are “ staffed” and supported by older church members who remember with fondness their own participation in the life of the church as a family unit. Roof and Gesch note that attitudes in support of families participating in religion together occur most strongly amongst those who have the traditional family structure to match.

Several essays examine the relationships among religion, gender, and paid employment: both Lyn Gesch and Charles Hall explore the inter- and intra-personal dynamics impacting upon women’s employment status. Each of these chapters draws attention to the importance of gender images and gender expectation as women determine their role in the modern world. Using NORC data from 1972-1990, Bradley Hertel offers a detailed examination of religiosity and labor force participation among men and women. He concludes that by far the most significant challenge to organized religion lies in the work-related declines in membership and attendance attributable to the full-time employment of married women.

Part Il of this collection invites the reader to consider some of the implications of changing family constellations for religious groups. Chapters by Don Browning and Joseph Reiff consider the more particular religious or ethical ramifications of the trends documented in the earlier data-based chapters. In an especially insightful essay by Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, the relationship between church and family is examined within the African-American experience. Claiming that it is possible to interpret the history of the African-American experience as a “ succession of dislocations affecting the relationship between work and family,” she argues that it is in the construction of alternatives for survival and growth that the current mission of black churches is best understood.

Choosing innovation at the personal level can involve substantial cost, but it also offers opportunities for immense rewards. Mary Johnson details the difficult choices some defense workers face as they struggle to reconcile their work experiences with their faith perspectives, and eventually decide role-exit is their option of choice. On the other hand, William and Sylvia Johnson Everett explore patterns of work and family among couples who decide to merge their familial and employment lives and “ work together.”

Small groups, or the home cell ministry, are an innovation that Stuart Wright believes has the potential to bring vitality and renewal to both mainstream and conservative churches alike. Bill D’Antonio traces the growth and development of Intentional Eucharistic Communities (IECs) that have emerged within and kept rather close links with the Roman Catholic tradition while Mary Jo Neitz looks at the construction of women’s rituals within “ Limina,” a group loosely linked with Roman Catholic women, but clearly outside the boundaries of mainstream Catholicism.

This collection of essays has something to offer just about any scholar interested in the issues raised by work, family, and religion in modern society. For the empirically sophisticated, there are chapters that tease apart the nuances of religious participation, employment status, gender, and parenthood. For those preferring narratives of the linkages between work and family, or case studies documenting the choices ordinary men and women make, there are several rich accounts of the process by which one’s religious ideology intertwines with one’s familial and work settings. Moreover, other chapters offer a more passioned plea for a return to the strong bond between family and faith.

Without a religious institutions have been called upon to respond to the changes impacting families across the nation. The editors have pulled together a wide array of scholars to document the dilemmas facing churches and families of faith as we move towards the 21st century. For the most part, the chapters are clear and concise and though there is some unevenness in quality and scope, readers will not be disappointed. There is much in this volume to satisfy both the seasoned scholar and the undergraduate student.


The concept of work family and religion is linked with one another in a sense that a person work for his/her life to live, move in society to improve his/her life style in life only because of work, a person can earn can live a better life of his/her own choice in society.

In case of family it also plays a very important role in society because a person in this world wishes to succeed his/her family in society to get fame in society. Means that both work and family have very close relationship with one another.

In case of religion, it has a much broader view from each person or family point of perspective because every one wants to give importance to God to prayers or to church to get through the line of success in life. Let′s take the example of a Muslim point of view about their religion Islam. They have a strong belief that asking from God by fulfilling the needs of prayers in order to get success in life because they believed that God come first then the idea of work and family all these things are based on God, if God will be happy we can easily achieve all these things in life. Same is the case with Christianity and Christian′s point of view about Jesus that by going to the church regularly saying their prayers share the good and bad things such as ideas/sins with a priest in order to change their bad deeds into good ones they have to ask from Jesus in order to get success. I am not referring towards the idea that hard working is not important and justly saying prayers either in the mosques or in the church for earning or success in life for all there things it is necessary to have some ability to be educated and work hard in life not just by wasting their time in rubbish things. So here in the idea to be educated a baby is not born with idea of education from his/her childhood he/she learn a lot from society people in their surroundings from parents so his/ her foundation is based on family and that family is then linked up with society.

The media raised the above specified issue in article 1, because they actually want to show a comparison of the importance of work, religion and family in the past and in the present. In the past people used to gave a lot of importance to work, daily business in their lives, religion i. e. the role played by religion in the lives of people but in all this process they ignored the importance of family that why family is important , or why it is important to give more importance to family in life. But now according to the present time churches want to gave more importance to family as well as work and religion because according to their point of views family is also very important because the preaching of religion and churches are only for society, and what constitutes a society the people who are living in that society , the role played by families in a society and in families the role played by elders, so according to some churches that it is important to give more importance to the role played by elders in a society because they fulfill all the criteria′s of family in life, but this view is contradicted by some churches that it is important that elders play a very important role in a family but along with elders the younger ones i. e. the siblings in a family means that the young minds in a family are also of great importance because the whole generation depends on the young minds in a family so if the young minds will not be fresh and have the complete opportunities in life for the exploration of new ideas and concepts then in that case such type of family will not be considered as the good family in society.


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In the past aboriginal family life style was very simple. They gave more importance to family. In their families they have father, mother brother and sister. They were all linked with one another because of love. They have great sympathy and heart full of emotions for one another. They were badly discriminated by the white people, because of their dark skin they were not respected in a society among the white people. The white people were used to rape their woman their woman was not respected like the white people woman.

When the children were born they were brutally snatched from their parents. Children were also not comfortable in the field of education. They were not provided as much educational facilities like the white people. They were not provided of basic things in life like the white people.

When ever a baby was born in their families not of dark skin so they were snatched by the white people so before they were carried away by them their families used to hide them from their cruel hands.

This is true that the dark skin people have strong family views. They have their own family values, rules and regulation for spending their lives, but their ideas were not fully developed about the idea of success in life. They were not completely aware about the true meaning of life that to work hard in order to improve their standard of living in life. They used to live in caves and like to prefer the forests for their places of living. When the white people came at that time they have not strong and clear views about the idea of family, they were completely unaware of this thing the used to live together without getting married having children without any sort of strong relationship. They were more concerned with the idea of drugs and alcohol as compared to dark people, who in the beginning were completely unaware of using drugs in their lives. The white people induce this habit in them.

This article is written to highlight the positive aspects of aboriginal families, that the concept of family is very strong among them in a sense that they give more importance to the members in their families such as more respect to their elders, respect their decisions, great love for their younger ones. According to this article the writer trying to convince that it is true that there are some negative aspects among the family lives of aboriginal people but along with some negative aspects they have some positive aspects too.

For fulfilling the needs of negative aspects of aboriginal families government has to play a very important role such that the school curriculum must be designed in a way that children from aboriginal families must also take some advantage in the field of education because the community must be best identified through the importance of education in that particular community that either the ratio of people regarding education is raising in that particular community or not and if raised then get to know that up to which extent it has been raised. Through this process aboriginal families can be considered as the respectable families in society as compared to other communities.


Clark, Nason. & Nancy. (1996). Work, Family, and Religion in Contemporary Society. Sociology of Religion

Walker, Y. (1993). “ Aboriginal family issues”. Family Matters, 35, 51-53.

Skolnick, Arlene S., & Skolnick, Jerome H. (2009). Family in Transition. New York: Pearson Education

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