In human context, a family (from Latin: familia) is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children. Anthropologists most generally classify family organization as matrilocal (a mother and her children); conjugal (a wife, husband, and children, also called nuclear family); and consanguinal (also called an extended family) in which parents and children co-reside with other members of one parent's family.
There are also concepts of family that break with tradition within particular societies, or those that are transplanted via migration to flourish or else cease within their new societies. As a unit of socialization the family is the object of analysis for sociologists of the family. Genealogy is a field which aims to trace family lineages through history. In science, the term "family" has come to be used as a means to classify groups of objects as being closely and exclusively related. In the study of animals it has been found that many species form groups that have similarities to human "family"—often called "packs." Sexual relations among family members are regulated by rules concerning incest such as the incest taboo.
Extended from the human "family unit" by affinity and consanguinity are concepts of family that are physical and metaphorical, or that grow increasingly inclusive extending to community, village, city, region, nationhood, global village and humanism.
Famous quotes containing the word family:
“Unfortunately, life may sometimes seem unfair to middle children, some of whom feel like an afterthought to a brilliant older sibling and unable to captivate the familys attention like the darling baby. Yet the middle position offers great training for the real world of lowered expectations, negotiation, and compromise. Middle children who often must break the mold set by an older sibling may thereby learn to challenge family values and seek their own identity.”
—Marianne E. Neifert (20th century)
“Being in a family is like being in a play. Each birth order position is like a different part in a play, with distinct and separate characteristics for each part. Therefore, if one sibling has already filled a part, such as the good child, other siblings may feel they have to find other parts to play, such as rebellious child, academic child, athletic child, social child, and so on.”
—Jane Nelson (20th century)
“If we can find a principle to guide us in the handling of the child between nine and eighteen months, we can see that we need to allow enough opportunity for handling and investigation of objects to further intellectual development and just enough restriction required for family harmony and for the safety of the child.”
—Selma H. Fraiberg (20th century)