Meaning, Definition & Characteristics of family for JKSSB Supervisor Exam.

Meaning, Definition & Characteristics of family for JKSSB Supervisor Exam: In this Article, we will write about the “Meaning, Definition & Characteristics of family for JKSSB Supervisor Exam” that is one of the important topic of most of the competitive exams.

Meaning, Definition & Characteristics of family for JKSSB Supervisor Exam.

 Meaning of Family

The word ‘Family‘ has been taken over from Latin word ‘Famulus‘ which means a servant. In Roman Law the word denoted a group of producers and slaves and other servants as well as members connected by common descent or marriage. Thus, originally, family, consisted of a man and woman with a child or children and servants. The meaning of family can be explained better by the following definitions:

Meaning, Definition & Characteristics of family for JKSSB Supervisor Exam.

 Definition of Family 

  1. M.F. Nimkoff says that “Family is a more or less durable association of husband and wife with or without child, or of a man or woman alone, with children”.


  1. Burgess and Locke. “Family is a group of persons united by ties of marriage, blood or adoption constituting a single household interacting and intercommunicating with each other in their respective social roles of husband and wife, father and mother, son and daughter, brother and sister, creating a common culture”.


  1. Eliot and Merrill: Family is “The biological social unit composed of husband, wife and children“.


  1. MacIver: Family is “a group defined by sex relationship sufficiently precise and enduring to provide for the procreation and upbringing of children “.

General Characteristics of the Family

  1. A Mating Relationship. A family comes into existence when a man and woman establishing relation between them.


  1. Selection of Mates. Wife or husband may be selected by parents or by the elders, or the choice may be left to the wishes of the individuals concerned. Various rule govern this selection.


  1. A Form of Marriage. The mating relationship is established through the institution of marriage. Marriage is an institutional arrangement made by the society according to which the individuals establish marital relationships among themselves. Marriage may assume any one of the forms-monogamy, polygamy, polyandry or group marriage.


  1. A System of Nomenclature. Every family is known or recognized by a distinctive name.


  1. A Way of Tracing the Descent: Every family has its own mode of tracing the descent. Descent refers to the social recognition of biological relationship between individuals. Descent may be traced through the male line (Patrilineal Descent) or through the female line (Matrilineal Descent) or through both the lines (Bilateral Descent).


  1. A Cammon Residence. Family requires a home or a household to live in. After the marriage the wife may reside in husband’s parental home (Patrilocal or Virilocal Residence) or she may stay in her parental home to which the husband pays occasional visits (Matrilocal or Uxorilocal Residence) or both of them may establish a separate home of their own (Neolocal Residence).


  1. An Economic Provision. Family provides for the satisfaction of the economic needs of its members. ‘ ‘


The family is a social Institution performs several functions. Various opinions have been expressed regarding the functions of family.

Kingsley Davis speaks of four main functions of the family.

  1. Reproduction,
  2. Maintenance,
  3. Placement, and
  4. Socialization

Ogburn and Nimkoff have mentioned six major functions of family:

  1. Affection,
  2. Economic,
  3. Recreational,
  4. Protective,
  5. Religious, and

Reed has described four functions of the family:

  1. Race perpetuation,
  2. Socialization,
  3. Regulation and Satisfaction of sex needs and
  4. Economic functions.

Also Read: Meaning and definition of social stratification for JKSSB Supervisor exam.

Also Read:  Directive Principles of State Policy for JKSSB Exam

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