What are the Functions of the Family Institution? Functions of the FamilyJuly 2, 2021
The functions of the family or the functions of the family institution are a sub-topic of family sociology. The family is the closest and therefore the most influential social unit to the individual. As a social unit, it fulfills different functions on an individual and social basis. These are as listed below.
What are the Functions of the Family Institution?
1. Biological Function
The family is a basic institution in terms of being the source of the population in the society. This function not only meets the sexual needs of the spouses, but also ensures the continuity of generations.
When marriages are at an early age, this function of the family directly concerns the education system. This function gains importance in terms of meeting the education needs of the increasing population.
It is also possible for girls to drop out of school due to early marriages. This has a negative impact on the education system. It is one of the facts observed today that families with low income and who have not had their share of adequate education have more children.
2. Economic Function
The fact that the family is a production unit that will meet its own needs expresses this function. In industrial societies, the family has gradually moved away from this function. The nuclear family is now a unit of economic consumption. Institutions outside the home take on this function. Like making clothes and food outside of the family.
Work related to economic activities is separated from the family circle. Children can no longer see their father’s work concretely at home. However, in pre-industrial societies, the child learned the work of the father by seeing it at home. Likewise, today, women work outside, keeping housework out of production. Thus, it makes a significant contribution to the family budget.
The woman’s work outside also helped her in gaining freedom. Thus, the proportion of young women living separately from their families has increased in industrial societies. Another issue related to the economic function is that the education system has taken over the education of the basic skills necessary for the individual to earn a living.
Literacy, vocational and technical education are among such skills and they have taken these skills on schools. Likewise, schools can take on much of the vocational guidance. In industrialized societies, vocational guidance in schools has become a basic requirement for choosing the most appropriate profession for the child.
3. The Love Function
The value of the family environment stems from its being a natural source of love and security. Feeling love and affection are among the needs of the child. Compared to the changes in other functions of the family, this function changes very little. This permanent function of the family increases its value gradually.
With love, the child develops a healthy personality. A person who has not felt love cannot show love to the other person. For example, while children who receive love develop a warm and harmonious friendship, those who grow up without love follow the path of hostility in their relationships.
The Affectionate Function of the Family Institution
The child, who does not receive love and attention at home, likes to attract attention and resorts to unimaginable ways to attract attention. Such children may even steal to get the teacher’s attention, for example. In particular, the complaints of orphans, children in orphanages and children in kindergartens center around their lack of love in the places they live.
As a matter of fact, the lack of mother and father’s love causes psychological depression and problems in children living here. These children cannot adapt to life.
In today’s nuclear family, the child cannot be with them for a long time as the parents work outside. For this reason, he is deprived of their constant love. The pressures, tensions, depressions and problems created by contemporary cities increase the desire for parental love even more. In addition, the increase in the divorce rate and the child’s lack of parental love also poses a problem. With the divorce, the relationship of the child with the mother or father changes.
4. Protective Function
In the past, the family took full responsibility for caring for its members. This function is also gradually decreasing its importance today. Because today, this function has been taken over by the state.
For example, the state, which takes on health, unemployment, old age and all forms of social security, protects its citizens from these aspects. This has undoubtedly benefited the poorer classes.
5. Socialization Function
Socialization is a process that directly affects the child. Socialization is of great importance, especially in terms of transferring culture. The development of the child’s personality begins in the family. Social norms are learned there. In the first five years, the family teaches something, consciously or unconsciously. This period is the child’s first socialization period. For example, sexual roles are taught in the child’s toilet training.
An important part of the child’s religious education is carried out in the family institution. Religious ceremonies and prayers are learned in the family, and other religious practices are usually performed within the family. In addition, the child or adolescent’s anti-social behavior