List of Functions performed by the institution of family.

The family is one of society most basic institutions. There is hardly any society Where family does not exist, family as an institution has been considered universal. Though families and their patterns and functions may vary across societies, they share certain key features.

Sociologists have tried to define family on the basis of these features. The family has been loosely defined as a social group, related by ancestry, marriage or adoption who live together and form an economic unit and co-cooperatively rear their young.

The family as an institution thought universally found in many societies has been found its own slant or structure in different cultures. Sociologist have divided families into two types which are the extended family and the nuclear family. The extended family is made up of more than two generation like grandparents, their children and the grandchildren. And extended family may also consists of other in members like uncles and aunts.

The nuclear family is based on marriage ties, when a couple decide to get married they may want to move out of their respective parents house and setup house on their own and raise a family. A nuclear family is made up of husband, wife and their dependent children

Functions of the Family: 

Thought some of the function are also performed by other institution at the same time some of the key function of the family remain nevertheless intact. Let us examine some of the functions that family as an institution performs:


The family is and important institution which rears the children and give them the social experience of learning the ways of their respective culture. This process known as socialization happens throughout the lifetime of an individual. A child also learns what to do and what not to do not only form her/his immediate family but from school, when she or he starts going to school and also from the larger world.

Reproductive and Sexual Functions: 

In almost all societies it is the family which is the legitimate institution; it allows the continuation of generations by recognizing, socially and legally, the offspring born to a married couple. Children born outside of marriage very often are heaped with ridicule and displeasure making-marriage and family the primary options for one who want to have children; Marriage. and family,together also, regulate sexual activity.

Economic Functions:

Families in the past were economically more independent than the families.of today. Though, among hunting and gathering societies and among, people who practice subsistence farming and in many traditional societies, family, especially extended family functions like .a corporation.

In Modern industrial societies other institutions perform the larger economic function however the family still Operates as an economic unit, Where husband and wife. share their resources, own many things together and take up financial burdens together.

Identity and Social Status: 

A person acquires a sense of identity directly from the family. A sense of identity is formed with in the socializing agent of family. The ascribed status of an individual is transferred from the family to the individual.

 Emotional Security: 

One of the fundamental functions that a modem family performs lies in providing emotional security and support to its members. mile some of the other functions educational, economic sexual and reproductive and increasingly going outside of the institutions of family the emotional security is still largely taken up by the family especially in the present context of increasing nuclear families.

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