How Society Shapes Family Life

In: Social Issues

Submitted By lilianroma
Words 416
Pages 2
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, structure of society is “the internal institutionalized relationships built up by persons living within a group (as a family or community) especially with regard to the hierarchical organization of status and to the rules and principles regulating behavior” (Social Structure, n.d., para. 1). By this definition, we understand that structure of society is built-up by the rules and principles (including norm and values) regulating its member behavior.
Family, as a part of this social structure, is also shaped by these rules and principles. There are many ways how society shape family life so that it is no longer merely individual choices, but also reflection of social structure, three of them are:
1. Society influences who has authority in the family
Patriarchal family: father/husband exercises authority at home. This pattern is the most common pattern in the world. However, some societies (e.g. society of Muslim countries) are more strict in this pattern than the others.
Egalitarian family: authority is distributed equally between husband and wife. For example, most Western European societies are now shifting to this pattern (Monnier, 2010).
2. Society influences where a newly married couples live
Patrilocal family: newlywed lives in family from the groom side. For example, this occurs in North Africa countries such as Morocco and Algeria.
Neolocal family: newlywed lives in their own home, separate from their parents. This is the case for most of western societies (Monnier, 2010).
3. Society influences how many spouse(s) one can have in a family
Monogamy: one person can only have one spouse. This is the most common pattern all over the world. A sub-pattern of monogamy is serial-monogamy, which is a person is involved in a serial one-to-one intimate relationship in a sense of after one ends the relationship, one…...

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