Briefly discuss important functions of family.
List of main family functions:
Satisfaction of Sexual Needs
In all societies, primitive or modern, simple or complex, human sex urge requires established and socially recognized channels of satisfaction. Family enables adults of both sexes to maintain a socially approved sexual relationship. Besides, the family shapes, channelizes and restricts the sex drive of man in all societies in terms of social norms.
Reproduction of Children
Satisfaction of sex needs leads to reproduction of children. To have children is considered both a religious as well as social need in Hindu society. Children perpetuate race which is desire of every individual.
Provides Minimum Basic Facilities
The family is the only social institution charged with transforming a biological organism into a human being. Like many animals, man is helpless at birth and would die quickly without care. However, man matures much later than any other animal.
His lack of instinct is however, compensated by his possession of the most complex brain among all animals. This trait enables man to build several cultural aids to protect himself, to collect food, to build shelter etc. Among many aids, family is the one which he builds in order “to be fed, protected and taught what nature has not provided”.
Socialization of Members
Socialization of human personality is another important function of family. The child’s first human relationships are with the immediate members of his family.
Here he experiences ideal love, authority, direction, protection, setting of example and ideals.
According to Gillin and Gillin, “Habits form according to the treatment they give him and according to the reactions determined by his inherited capacity. As he grows older, initiation of parental actions and exposures to their suggestion leads him to form habits which affect his social life more profoundly than he will recognize until many years after, if at all.”
Helps in Building Integrated Personality
Family helps an individual develop an integrated personality. Man is a cultural being and, as such he has both emotional and physical needs. He needs food, protection and care for his survival. He also needs love, affection, understanding and sympathy for satisfaction of his emotional needs. The family creates the necessary environment in which he develops a well-rounded personality. Family is therefore, described by Talcott Parsons as a ‘factory’ which produces human personality.
In the economic field it is the responsibility of the family to see that there is proper division of work. None of the members is overburdened with work. It is through family that the economic needs of the people are met. It looks after family property.
Family is also required to perform many religious functions. What is the religion of a family and what are the modes and methods of worship are taught in the family.